I don’t intend to focus much on my own work in this journal but there are some pieces which resonate so strongly with my intent here that I will occasionally insert them.
My aim with this work was to evoke the mystery around a narrative that has already passed.
I had begun the carving before the tragic events in Tohoku, Japan, March 2011, and I was certainly struck with how water can reshape our lives as well as create tranquil beauty. I had many moments while making it to reflect on the quiet endurance of the Japanese people in the wake of the destructive Tsunami. This was driven home last August with the devastating effects of hurricane Irene in Vermont and elsewhere.
During many quiet and restorative hours in Nature, I am fascinated with the ever-changing details of stream beds after high-water events such as spring run-off or a large rainfall. One of the phenomena that appeals to me in this regard is the patterns left by the water in sand-bars, and in the reshaping of sand-bars. Objects large and small, such as logs, stones and twigs come to rest in the sand, creating a small still-life, charged with the power of the water and the mystery of how objects came to their position.
A stream-bed focuses several powerful visual and dynamic realities. In the short term, every visit unveils new courses of water, and new arrangements of sticks, stones, leavings and bits. In the longer run, the work of water for ages reveals rocks uplifted when North America and Africa were one continent. I find it impossible to be emotionally unaffected by this display of transformation and beauty, both short and long-term. I hope the evocation of this work will involve the viewer with their own imaginative emotional response.
I carved an undulating surface in the wood representing the sand patterns, and textured the surface to appear as sand. This texture was done with a triangular chisel point, moved in various angles so that the reflected light would dance as grains of sand might in the light.
The stones are made from, iron, lead, two alloys of shibuichi and pure silver. The twig is made from shakudo with traces of gold.