The last several days have been exciting as I begin the surface texture and embellishment.  More and more this work is speaking to me as a human metaphor.  I’m also thinking of a title and wondered about “Beausoleil Saracen“. Beausoleil Island is where the inspirational stone was found; however Saracen seems to be specific to the British Isles where the silicified sandstone of Stonehenge is found.  But my Pre Cambrian megaliths were intended to play off the Stonehenge photograph that we took when visiting these prehistoric standing stones (dated at 4-5,000 years old).  Our Georgian bay, Canadian Sheild rocks are said to be 570 million years old.  Are there any responses to the title?  Could it be interpreted as my version of a Stonehenge Saracen?


I am now indulging in the surface of the sculpture and have the stratified, Pre Cambrian bedrock to capture.  This rock consists of igneous:  granite (the pinks), dolomite (limestone), basalt (the dark volcanic sections) and metamorphic:  schists (quartz) and marbles.  Here are my supplies:

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I will be using raw mulberry silk dyed in 3 tones to pick up on the overall granite.  I have used silk dyes.  This raw silk comes with little bumps (noils) which I hope will provide the texture of the granite.  In the second photograph I have an assortment of beads and linen cloth from which I will form the lichens.

First, however, I must work on the defined sections of the sculpture that will contain the limestones, marbles and quart components.  For these areas I am using a finer processed silk fibre over the white areas of the sculpture.  Plastic food wrap works well as a barrier that is simply taped in place.  The fibres are attenuated (stretched out) and wallpaper paste is used to adhere the layers (4 layers, each worked against the other (as in crosshatching), provides a good thickness).  It takes about 12 hours to dry enough to be able to peel off in a sheet.

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I will be working on the “background” granite and the featured quartz, marble, limestone areas simultaneously.

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The silk fibre, feature sections are first backed with thin cotton, quilt batting to provide a heavier cloth to work on.  I am beginning here to work with the shell buttons and various beads to provide texture and monochromatic colour.  I work, by hand, with the rock in front of me as a continual reference.

The first section is completed and attached to the sculpture with fabric glue.  The silk edges will be integrated into the background.  I am working first with the lightest colour of my dyed silk noil.  Once this is dry I can begin to build the texture and colour density.  Note that the black charcoal of the foundation layer is strategically left to show through.

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I am ready to begin the lichens.  They are flat and intricate.  The actual lichen below (one of the 3 varieties that I will be depicting) is identified at a white lichen, specifically, Diploicia Canescens.  My research tells me that this species is also found in the British Isles.  Could it therefore be growing on the Stonehenge Saracens?


I back my linen with cotton quilt batting, then take it to the sewing machine.  Machine quilting is very acceptable today among textile and fibre artists.  The motifs are cut, pinned in place, stitched/quilted (this process involves puckering the motif to create a three-dimensional formation). The “fingers” of the lichen are worked up with my acquarelle watercolour pencils to enhance the forms and push back the background rock areas.  These are completed with a scattering of black, grey and reddish glass beads to create a rock background and to tie the plant form into the beaded rock formation.

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Here I am now with the second beaded section completed.


I found some interesting beads today that I may incorporate in my next section.  They are much like granite, in colour and are dull, as the unpolished stone.

Please feel welcome to comment and to ask any questions about what you have seen or read.  I hope you enjoy this process as much as I do.  Thanks for participating.

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