small studies 2

here’s another set of small studies done to try to force a creative impulse to form. for this set, I decided to base my pieces on a driftwood tree trunk sitting near the shore.

for this first one, I used the worn stubs of long gone branches as starting points to raise a platform. the major difference between starting a project on the rubble of the beach vs on these branches is one of compression. pretty much any spot you chose as a starting point on the ground is about as solid as it’s ever going to be, so as long as you make sure your starting elements aren’t tippy, you can load that sucker as heavily as you like and not see much of a difference. the end of the branches, on the other hand, aren’t perfectly stiff; the ends are feathered and jagged where the wood is falling apart, and as you load the elements onto these endpoints, the wood starts to compress. this changes the spatial relationships of anything stacked above that point, and though the effect grows too slowly to notice, it would be the undoing of anything I attempted to build on the points. like the last edition of small studies, I built until the arrangement collapsed multiple times, and only one iteration is shown here.

number two was another one of my piled point attempts, smaller than usual. the tree trunk is a lot smoother than any rock I can find, so it’s much easier for the whole thing to slide off. friction is basically the most important factor in building, possibly even more so than balance. I built a little higher than what is shown here, but it fell before I could image it again.

last is something completely thoughtless – this guy isn’t much larger than a grapefruit. I went to a different spot, out among the sharper rocks for this one; I was watching the moon as I built, smelling the salt air and feeling the change in the wind as the tide came in. it was wetter and colder in this area than my usual site, as the landscape here is completely submerged during most hours of the day. I like the thought of my work being pulled under by the rising waves and cast back into randomness, I don’t know why. I may try building in the surf more sometime soon, but the rocks there are harder to work with. I don’t really know what they want to be.

net time we’ll talk about a piece that started out as a small study and ended up flowing into an actually satisfying creative moment. thanks for reading, keep living.

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