It was a warm and sunny Fall day. I decided to take a break from class at Valley Ridge and go for a walk to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I try to get outside at least for a little bit on days like this to savor the weather and hold me through the Wisconsin Winters. On the trail this stone caught my eye.
A man who was part Indian and a collector of Indian artifacts once gave a talk to our 4-H group. He said that if you see a stone and it makes a strong impression on you it probably does have some special significance to it.
The circular opening in the circular socket is what caught my eye. The rock reminds me of a shoulder or hip socket. Perhaps it is because I know several people who have had their shoulder operated on this year including my friend Jill Shulse and a hip replacement for my friend Jeanne.
After holding the rock in my hand for awhile, thinking...it would be a nice artifact to include in a piece of art as a remembrance of my experience at Valley Ridge. The circular opening could be complimented by a dome made with a dapping block that I bought on the way to the retreat at Harbor Freight Tools. We also had used dapping blocks in class.
The starting point will be the a dome to fit in the opening of the rock and to represent the sun. The sun that shone that day, light, birth and creativity.
I have also decided the primary shape for my piece will be a circle to further emphasize the circular opening of the rock and to contrast with the irregularity of the remainder of it. I draw several prototypes on tracing paper, cut them out, fitting them around the rock. Retracing and altering my design several times. I finally decide on swirling rays of the sun to hold the rock in place.
Here is the outer shape cut out of copper.
The rock, main piece, and brass addition to add more body, color and shape to the piece. I have also drawn on a design with a Sharpie marker to act as a resist for etching.
Fitting the pieces together.
A map to marking the spot with an X where I found the rock. An arrow on the bail points North. The curve on Witek Road where the driveway to Valley Ridge is. Buildings, trees and open fields. This part involves a bit of faith for me as the design in sharpie looks cartoonie to me at this point.
The back finished with a patina.
The front with the rays of sun curling around the rock holding it in place. Brass plate held on with micro bolts.
Inspiration from gathering with kindred souls in a atmosphere conducive to creativity lingers long after the event is over. Thank you Valley Ridge Art Studio for providing a special haven for artistic souls.
Hopefully in a future post I will backtrack and revisit my experience at Valley Ridge. Even my journal entries are all over the place, out of order. This is how my mind works :)