Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wind Worn Stone

It's blowing out there!  Sort of exciting and frightening at the same time - nearly being taken off my feet and in fear of the little tin roofs being torn off the sheds - but oh such a huge and intense reminder of the power of nature.

Working in it has been quite difficult, not just because of the cold, but stone dust is thrown up into the air, and into my face - so its regularly down-tools to stop a dripping nose and streaming eyes.

I've thought as the gales rage around me that at least my stone is not affected, it sits there, unwavering and solid.  And then I think of the stones out on the moors, where the wind blows hardest and meanest, and the stones are wind worn, into the softest, most sensitive shapes.  It makes my chisel marks seem invasive and sharp, unnatural - how I wish I had the power and subtlety of the wind at my fingertips to shape my stones.

Wind alters the surface character of stone, eroding and revealing the rock's make-up, it brings abrasives which etch, scour and polish it into the most natural forms there can be.

The Hare Rock near Tregastel.  Natural erosion of this part of Brittany, has resulted in bold, rounded, strange forms and shapes in the pink granite.

Wind worn stones in the desert.

These wind worn stones are called Inselbergs.

Just look at these beautifully formed wind caves!

And these amazing pillars are from Bryce Canyon - they're called Hoodoo - the spines are gradually worn away by wind and rain - the weakest rock wearing away soonest. 

The colours come from the rich iron and lime sediments deposited by ancient rivers and streams over eons.  The natives explained the numerous and colourful Hoodoos as 'legend people' who were turned to stone by the mythical Coyote.

So I'm thinking positively about the gales and gusts as they batter and blow, knowing they are also part of the long shaping process their caresses have on stone.


  1. I have never really thought about stone in the way you are helping me see it. I love your passion for your medium and art. This post showing how wind and erosion effect stone was fascinating.

  2. Indeed Ellen!

    Of course we need many, many years for the erosion to show Betsy, but it seems that some of the hardest stones, granite particularly, show the most beautiful shapes with quiet, sublime curves.

  3. Wow, so beautiful - must travel more and see some of the amazing natural art out there!


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