Sunday, April 21, 2013
Curious Conglomerate Hand Carved River Rock Heart Sculpture
I have always collected “curious rocks”. Conglomerates like the stone this heart is carved from were among the first things I picked up, usually out of creek beds. At the time I thought they were gravel that was used in some man-made product like asphalt or concrete that had broken, been thrown away, and then weathered into the curiously mixed odd shapes. Little did I imagine back then they were river or ocean gravel that many millions of years ago had settled within an iron oxide mud like limonite or hematite and were fused underground with great pressure for many millions of years only to resurface again usually in riverbed gravel or out of a gravel pit like this piece I carved into a heart.
This material is irrational to carve and even more difficult to polish. When I first suggested that I was going to use it for sculptures, other lapidary artist told me the stone was unworkable and would only ruin the tools or other material that was mixed with it while tumbling. This piece is an excellent example of that not being true. It is true that only a select few conglomerate carvings survive to completion. Perhaps it requires a certain aesthetic to fully appreciate such a carving, but I think this amazing example of what is possible speaks for itself. This is as difficult, rare, and odd as carving and polishing stone gets. Wonderful to contemplate and to hold as it oozes the energy geological forces invested in its creation. Every curious rock collector needs one.