The Reef Ring

Oh my ducklings, I’ve not meant to ignore you.  I’ve just been distracted by shiny things.

I’ve been on a serious creativity roll, and so I’ve been going with it, ignoring the more administrative aspects of Vaka-ville in favor of twelve-hour days in the studio.  I’ve made some new pretties in the last week, which I will attempt to pace myself in showing to you.  I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I’m not so good at the pacing, and so I might just blog-vomit them all out in the next twenty-four hours.  You never know.

First up, let’s talk snails and slugs and patterns found in nature.  Stay with me,  will you, while I guide you down the odd little paths of my mind?

Since moving south, I’ve discovered the most beautiful patterns on objects around my yard, and it took me a while to realize they were left by snails.  We don’t have little garden snails up north, and so I’d not seen patterns like this before.  I’m not sure if the patterns are the result of some chemical in the snail’s slimy trail eating through the surface covering of dirt and algae, or if the snail is feeding on the surface covering of dirt and algae.

snail trails

Similar but less delicate are the trails I found one morning, left by the slugs who spent the night in a wheelbarrow left out overnight.

slugs and their trails in my wheelbarrow

A friend understood my fascination with these patterns, and photographed similar patterns she found at the beach.

Worm trails? Patterns in sand at the beach.

I love the quality of these lines. The fractal coolness of the snail’s winding path doubling back on itself, smaller patterns creating larger replicas of themselves. The increasing complexity of pattern as the slugs crossed paths, and crossed them again.  The up and down depth and three-dimensionality of the sandy worm paths.   Once these patterns captured my attention, I noticed other similar lines in nature:  the line of a wave as it breaks and races up on the sand, the dark lines of sediment left high on the beach.    Sticks of worn coral, and old logs washed up with the high tide,  lines of knots raised up like smooth hills.  The irregular up and down,  in and out, again and again to make a pattern.

I’ve had these images pinned on my studio walls for several years as I’ve played with the idea of them; these patterns whisper to me, and I’ve never been quite sure of what they are saying.   By the time this ring was finished, I finally knew.  They speak of time passing, and of patience.  They speak of the natural rhythms which reveal themselves only in the absence of interference, they speak of the stability and order and beauty of the seemingly random and wild.

Reef Ring

I’d like to play with this pattern a bit, casting it and creating a limited edition, maybe working a tiny diamond into it, maybe elongating it and making a bracelet.

I think I’ll call it the Reef Ring.


5 thoughts on “The Reef Ring

  1. I have to say, the title “Reef Ring” is much more appealling than, say, “Slug Ring”, so I’m glad you went with that.

    1. Finding you seems like the confluence of our trails and along with Ladybugs, snails and snail trails play in the curliques of my noodle. I love snail cut gemstones, would wear your Reef Ring in any form it took, like an object placed upon me by the cosmos!! Thank goodness design has not vanished. You are an inspiration to me as a soul and an artist.

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