Harvesting Materials for Artmaking, Literally

As part of our current home improvement project, we had to have a deep trench dug through our backyard. It looks like a giant gopher had its way with our little patch of land. I’m trying to look on the bright side. For example, all that soil turning unearthed a lot of nice stones I am going to use for landscaping.

The weather was fantastic this past weekend, so I spent as much time as I could cutting into the yard and moving large pieces of shale, bricks and pavers we had lying around. George was hanging out with me and commented on my process.  He seemed impressed with the way I was changing the look and feel of the yard. When Rosa came back from the hair salon, on the other hand, she took one look at me covered in dirt and sweat, and asked if I was having fun. She seemed skeptical of my enthusiastic reply.

Then I noticed the stones. They were peaking out of the soil all over the place.  I squatted down and started harvesting all the little gems I could find. It felt like uncovering buried treasure since I know they sell these things at the garden center.  I enlisted the kids, bribed is really more accurate, to help me and got a few nice buckets of pebbles and rocks to play with.

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I laid a bit of landscaping fabric down around some of the pavers I had planted, and poured the stones on top. I had already felt like I was exploring new creative dimensions as I played around with different ways to arrange the hard and heavy materials I had on hand. This spontaneous addition felt truly authentic; materials from our own soil gave my earth art composition added value. George gave me two thumbs up and when I went inside for a drink of water, he took a horseshoe from a pile by the garage, and found a perfect place for it.

Felt like a successful day in the life of a urban homesteader / parent / outsider art educator.



One thought on “Harvesting Materials for Artmaking, Literally

  1. Hi Jodi,
    I missed reading this “episode” till tonight and had to share our synchronicity, even if “off” by a couple of days. My evening tonight involved “harvesting” moss from my office parking lot (with permission from the landlord, of course) for transplanting to edging rocks already defining planting beds amidst our lawn. First I painted the soon-to-be moss-covered rocks with watered-down yogurt. When we first endeavored to moss-cover some rocks a few years ago, we learned you can seed moss onto rocks by pulverizing moss, dirt and yogurt together in a blender and then painting the concoction onto the rocks. But the plants I harvested today were so healthy and plentiful that I’m trying direct transplanting. We’ll see how they take…
    Love to you all!
    Cousin Bonnie
    P.S. Happy Spree Day!

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