small studies 1

here are a couple quick pieces I threw together in early spring. with short daylight hours and busy weekends, I didn’t find many chances to do much of anything, or lacked the inspiration to make something compelling. however, when you’re uninspired, the only thing you can do to move forward is to do something, anything. action is the only thing that can keep any aspect of your life from atrophying. though the action will keep you alive and guide you back towards your creative flow, it won’t necessarily be rewarding in its own right. these photos are evidence of that; the small stacks portrayed here aren’t very satisfying, though they have the seeds of something bigger in them. keep working, and that seed will sprout eventually.


the first stems from a thought about verticality. nearly every element I place in my standard build is wider than it is tall, and to go against this trend is to (most often) invite disaster. mortar would allow me to conquer a lot of the issues posed by vertical stones’ torque problems, but we’re working dry, here. you can see in one photo that I began building a detailed layer on top of the platform with its precarious legs; you’re not seeing the multiple collapses and toppings that grew from the slightest off-centered application of force, whether from an accidental poke or a carelessly dropped pebble. as the daylight dies, the fervency grows – you have to discard this impatience, though, if you want to make much of anything. I don’t enjoy needing to be patient, most of the time, but it is good for me.

the second is a boring little pillar. this work was an even greater exercise in working for the sake of working. the form is as plain as can be, and there was no theme or desire behind it. I did enjoy a couple of the moments of detail, certain individual relationships between discrete rocks, but those are personal moments that have no bearing on the average viewer and can’t really be captured in photographs, only understandable in the very moment they occur in three dimensions under your hands. crouching to stare between an interesting pattern of voids, finding a stone that fits perfectly with its neighbors and creates an amazingly even and level top surface – these are moments for me and me alone. there is a pleasure and a sadness in living these instances.

got a few more small studies to be brought up. you’ll see them later this week.

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