Lichens and fungi…

24 Jan 2011 in Crafts Blog, Highland, Visual Arts & Crafts

blotches of lichenwhite lichen nodulesmulticoloured lichens

Boy, Caithness got its hooks in me! I am just back from an afternoon walk along cliffs, with dramatic light plus some getting lost in micro lichen vegetation and almost “losing the plot” over dizzying heights.

This blogger is a beginner, be warned – also an “incomer” (I hail from Bavarian Germany – these people are known to fall in love with the wilds of Scotland …) – and a maker (of body adornment with precious metals, studio glass and textiles). This place has become my home quite a few years ago. And it is seeping through my work!

My main creative interest is the human body – also anthropology, decay, funeral archaeology and infectious agents – with some humour thrown in. At the moment I am developing and making work for a small exhibition within the Making Progress craft programme. The working title so far is Bones and Beasts.

Lichens are a combination of fungi and algae (or bacteria) – and fungi are  intriguing beings anyway: They grow in many forms, sizes and colours, strictly are neither plant nor animal, can be parasitic (and potentially dangerous: think mould), can be living in symbiosis and/or be quite useful (bakers yeast and antibiotics spring to mind). They spread through mycelium and spores and seem to have something weird, alien and disconcerting about them – absolutely fascinating to me! I would put them into the “Beast” category…

fungal lichen ring

These are components for one of the pieces I have started to make: a ring inspired by lichens and fungi.

In autumn I have made some blown glass objects for more “Beasts” to wear – at the moment these are lovingly called “carbunkles”, but I will talk about their treatment next time…