Drawing with Bonny Bits

rass wire bonded sand and copper sulphate crystals

This item is from a series of spacial drawings. Small wire or waxed string drawings. Done in the spring of 2012. I wanted to find a way of expressing line and form in space directly rather than suggesting the same thing in a flat drawing. By using this method I can react directly within a delineated space enclosing, caging, piercing that space or opening it out. When using this method I have also to consider balance and gravity as an item sits or stands in the three dimensional world where as floating is easy to do on paper. A lot of these Items were made with Benderoos “flexible building sticks” they come in many colours but I found that sticking to one colour emphasises the line and form polychrome versions tended to get visually messy. Some items became quite large and complicated but the better ones for me seem to be between 5cm and 8cm high. I think this keeps the line in proportion the benderoos are of a given length and this also imposes a parameter to line length before some sort of join, node or connection is made.

The Bonny Bit  drawing was done after visiting Killhope Lead mining museum. (see links page) They have a fantastic collection of Spar Boxes a form of folk art made by the lead miners of the area. They used crystals and minerals found as part of their mining activities. They made magic worlds in boxes and frames made from old furniture. The sparkling crystals were known as bonny bits. I made this drawing from brass wire and then bonded cornish sand to the armature. Ironically this sand has had all the spar removed as it is quarry spoil from the china clay process, The feldspar in the granite is extracted fro clay making leaving behind the Quartz and Mica. The bonded sand drawing was then placed in a copper sulphate solution and crystals allowed to grow directly onto the drawing. The uncontrolled nature of the growth acts as a foil to the linear drawing. Although a line drawing is somewhat directional the crystals point in all directions.