A rock.

Some pebbles.


rock display

This book arts project was inspired by a story.

Two botanists were doing a plant survey on the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona. They stopped to take a lunch break on a rocky precipice, with a sweeping view of distant mountains and valleys. One botanist couldn't help noticing a plant at her feet, her scientic mind still busy at work. She turned to mention the plant to her colleague only to notice that he was starring out over the landscape with a tear in his eye, overwhelmed by the beauty stretching out before him.

To me this story epitomizes the tension that I, as an amateur naturalist and former professional archaeologist, sometimes feel between my scientific and emotive self, between my need to study and categorize and my desire to surrender to my five senses.

"A rock, some pebbles" uses stones to explore these two ways of experiencing the world around us: the scientific and the emotive. On each of the six cards science is depicted by the gray text; the narrative comes from a 1916 scientific report on the geology of Arizona. The quotes in black text, which are my creation, represent how rocks touch me on a purely emotive level.

For me this tension is unresolved. I will continue to experience the world from two unique vantage points...and continue to wonder.

A note on production. Using an antique treadle-operated platen press, the background text was printed in gray, followed by the emotive/metaphysical sayings in black. I then painted the rocks using watercolors. Five complete sets of six cards were produced. I also constructed one leather carrying pouch and one wooden display unit for upcoming gallery exhibits.


rock card 1


rock card 5


rock card 2


rock card 3


rock card 4


rock card 6

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