Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stone Stick Stack

Do you remember that old parable or kiddies song "don't build your house on the sand ('and the rain comes tumbling down') well rock balancing fans, don't build your balances on springy moss, rotten tree stumps or with rotten wood, they're already difficult enough as it is!

I went back again to the spot were I made the leaf lightning sculpture and I wanted to make a tornado cairn out of wood, this proved to be nigh on impossible with my current level of skill. I attempted several different ways of doing it and learnt quite a bit but it didn't work the way I wanted it too and so it will become a future project as I really want to make one now.

I wandered around looking at the rocks and trees and leaves, taking in the atmosphere of the place - and it is very atmospheric - and I had several ideas but not the time after spending several hours trying to make the first idea come to fruition.

I looked for interesting features upon which I could build a balance but it was all a bit half-hearted as I knew the soft moss would not be stable enough however striking it looked. But I did like the constrast of textures between the stone and the wood so I moved the rocks I had gathered to a different spot.

The dead wood layers in between the slabs were quite old and rotten and so the whole thing was more flexible and precarious than usual. I had to catch it several times and get it back into balance after it tipped and each time the bottom left hand stick would roll out meaning I had to hold up the whole construction balanced on one single twig while I re-inserted the one next to it.

The dappled sunlight coming through the trees gave the sense that the sculpture was moving (well it was moving a bit in the breeze but the feeling of vertigo you get when you change focus onto a stick you are snapping or when you study a rock to see how it needs to be orientated, through the movement of the sunlight meant that I expected it (or me) to go over any second) and it was hard to tell when it actually would, but fortunately I did catch it each time but you can't take you eyes away even for a second, even if that has to be just your periperhal vision. Anyway it took several readjustments and rebalances and I sprinted for the camera. It stood for only a couple of minutes before the strong breeze rocked it beyond what it could cope with so there was only time for close up shots. No context and no video but I like it all the same!

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