Sunday, October 11, 2009

3 Autumn Beech Leaf Stones

3 Autumn Beech Leaf Stones, originally uploaded by ...escher....

I often have two titles for something I make - the one I publish and the real one! This one's real name is 'fiddly!'

We went back to Middlewood again to the place I went to yesterday and last week. I was suprised to see the equilibrium stack still there despite the rain and wind last night and the mystery mushroom balance was still there too, although by the time we left it had collapsed, I don't know why it seemed quite sturdy and any gusts of wind strong enough to topple it would have made mincemeat of my stack too. But what was more remarkable was the cormorant that we spooked that flew right past us only a few feet away. I really wasn't expecting to see one of them there, must be a good fishing spot. After it had flown off I saw it again above the trees. It must have been a bit miffed that we had nicked it's favourite spot.

Beech leaves turn a wonderful trio of colours in Autumn - brown, yellow and green - and for some inexplicable reason they don't seem to change to the hues in between. The leaves I used yesterday did display the intermediate colours but perhaps they were from a different variety of beech, the ones I used today seemed to be green, yellow and brown as though they instantly chnage colour without fading. Also I love how the beech produces little delicate leaves, perfectly formed but not full size as well as fully gorwn ones. I dangled myself out over the river on a big rock to get to the best ones and selected three little leaves with which to show off those three colours. Then I went off up the river for a few hundred yards searching for some nice rounded river stones with which to work with. This took some time as flat stones, rounded without cracks or an uneven surface were hard to come by and I had used quite a few in the stack I made yesterday.

I did the green leaf on the yellow background first and this was the most difficult. The yellow leaves were not as flat as the green and brown for some reason so the sections had to be smaller to lay flat. At first I started to try and fade the yellow into brown but that didn't look right. A solid slab of colour would be much better. I finished it off and then sheltered it from the wind before starting on the yellow leaf on brown. This one was easier as the brown sections were flatter and so was the brown on green. Why do beech leaves display different properties depending on the colour? Do the yellow leaves actually turn brown or are they different altogether? There is so much to learn about leaves that you could spend a lifetime studying them.

Once I had completed the last one I set to work setting them up. Now it would be spectacularly stupid to dig a small hole for each stone and cover the yellow leaves with dirt while you furiously dig up the black earth, that is something you would really not want to do after all that effort! But still I don't like anything to be too easy do I?! Much cursing and fiddling ensued, I must have been missing that part of the process recently.

Finally I had to clean the stones with water to finish them off being very careful this time and at last they were done.

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