She gathered them from Lagrimas des Apaches (“tears of the Apaches”) where, black on white, they fell from the layers of ash in which they formed. Bubbles of glass cooling quickly, too fast to allow crystal form. Their irregular mass is contained by the ash melted by the heat of the moment that hardens on their surfaces.
Where does the black come from in the layers of white? These willful black blobs of glass refuse to blend, to fit in. Refuse to be influenced or affected by the adjacent substance. Separate themselves from the mass. Hard as glass, silica rich.
She can’t see through this rock or into it. It is shape and surface merely. Shell-shaped bowls are pools catching light like water. Along their rims are threads of silver light. Her eyes go out of focus fabricating a spear point of the shell shape. An eternal form.
The fire came first. Hardening and tempering, its heat retained in the glassy obsidian. Fire is in the smoky streaks. When she stares at the pockets of redness, the volcano’s essence is there. The obsidian is a summary of the eruption.
The acts of nature guide the hands of humans. Nature provides the raw materials of existence, colors it, prepares it. Humans provides the finish.
Into the delicate femininity of a cockle shell, its rose vulva ringed with amarillo, she places the obsidian nodules. Within the shell dish, the obsidian’s angular edges, the suggestion of spear points is subdued. The shell’s shape mirrors the diagnostic feature of obsidian: its conchoidal fracture.
Why does she do this…create a container of the shell, juxtapose light and dark, geometric and curving forms? Without altering, she creates a space where wholeness is evident at a glance. She wants a summary, a seizure. Like the Apache tear, she wants to freeze the moment…
NEXT WEEK: The Art of Prospecting: A Long Walk Over Uneven Ground…