Since the last blog post I’ve been working with my natural palette by cutting bamboo stalks (see foreground) into thin, flexible strips. Bamboo can hold a very sharp edge or point, but the edges of each of these strips are hand-shaped by yours truly, and feel smooth to the touch.
I’ve also been cutting bamboo on various angles, creating interesting markings on the outer skin by sanding through here and there. All edges will be smoothed with a knife or sandpaper. The sides that will be mounted to the wall panel must be sanded flat. Each piece of the mosaic will be a finished “sculpture” in itself.
And, I’ve been de-barking twigs to create patterns, no sense asking why, and connecting these to bamboo rings. This idea came from something I saw in a Native American museum in Montana a few years ago – the teepee (tipi or tepee) tent flaps were secured at the entrance with decorative strips similar to this. Functional and beautiful. I couldn’t wait to try them myself!
It’s a long journey to simplicity! At this point, I have nothing in the way of a finished composition for a natural mosaic, still experimenting and doing quick drawings as the ideas emerge, but I can feel things coming together the more I work with my materials. Each step in this process matters to me, from collecting, selecting, cutting, composing…and each step is given my full attention over an extended period of time. I receive great satisfaction in developing an idea into something visible, tangible.… In this case, it’s a hand-crafted co-creation with nature.
Your comments and emails are always welcome!