good stuff

Yippeeeeeee!!! The Maryland State Arts Council has approved a grant given to the Carroll County Arts Council (thank you Sandy Oxx!) and the Carroll County Recreation and Parks Department to commission a sculpture from…wait for it…ME!!! I will be spending the next year making a Great Blue Heron to be installed at Piney Run Park, which is literally five miles from my house. I am so honored that all of the above people thought well enough of my work to trust me with this project. If you were looking for a reason to support the NEA, look no further. This is the trickle down effect of the federal office for the arts.

Here is what I included in my part of the grant proposal…


I have to put the heron aside momentarily because I have a fun event happening next week that I have to prepare for. I will be experimenting with an installation of paper cast rocks at the Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. I have made dozens and dozens of these rocks over the past few months. They are super cool. I begin with rust stained paper towels. Each  has been molded around a rock while wet. After drying, the rock is taken out. The resulting form resembles a river rock, but is surprisingly light and fragile feeling.

I am hoping that during my time of installing the project, I will get some good dialogue going with the students, faculty and staff of HCC. The Horowitz Center is the college’s arts center so there is a lot of traffic that flows through each day. At the end of the day, I will pack the rocks back into a box, clean up and go home.

Here are pictures of the rock-making process:

Paper towels are sprayed with vinegar and rubbed in steel dust
An hour later the dust oxidizes and the towels dry
I line them with a clean paper towel for strength then cut each sheet into four sections
Adding water I wrap the sheets around a river rock
I lay the rocks on a grid to air dry
After peeling the paper off the rock, it is added to the ever-growing pile

I think this is going to be soon much fun and I can’t wait to see how it all comes out.

6 thoughts on “good stuff

  1. Congratulations, Virginia! I’m looking forward to watching your progress over the coming weeks and months. …. Melinda

  2. Hi Virginia,

    When will your paper rocks be on exhibition – can’t find a schedule on the web and I am not on the invitation lists anymore! I’m sure you have lots of material on GBHerons but if you need any more I’ve got well less than a bazillion photos, including at least one in-flight, you can call on. (I’m a camera-toting devotee of Blackwater Wild Life Refuge.)


    1. Hey Larry, there was no invitation to the rock exhibition because it is an experiment. If you want to come see it in action, I will be there after 10 a.m. I wish I could tell you more about it, but I’ve never done this before so I really have no idea what’s going to happen. I may ask for pix of herons, right now I seem to have no problems finding the ones I need. It is actually a pleasure to make such a well-photographed animal. Is Blackwater the one up in Pennsylvania?

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