The genesis of this work was in a cave in Hunter Mountain Sedona, AZ where my husband and I got lost while taking a short hike before dinner on Christmas Eve. We made a fire from scattered barrel staves in the cave this flickering light ignited a dance of crude animal paintings on the ceiling of the cave. In the darkness, there was a sudden revelation of the Lascaux Caves France, where the murals of animals must have thundered around the space when the oil lamps were lighted. Oddly these masterful paintings 15,000 BC were interspersed with crude attempts to communicate in marks made with bone tools.
Returning to the studio in Florida, my attention was drawn to the colored pencils our cats had scattered all over the work area. THE PENCIL offering the ease of communication humankind has sought over centuries The pencil with its beautiful spiral shaving, slender and elegant, pushing into our space.
Throughout history written communication has been in the hands of sculptors or scribes who had special instruments Egyptian writers used a stylus for cuneiform writing in clay and small brushes dipped in liquid 2500-2500 BC, the Maya imagery shows writers with pointed instruments dipped in cup 300 BC, the Romans generally used pen and ink and a small stylus that made light marks on papyrus. The pencil could not emerge without graphite discovered in 1565 in Cumbria, England and a means of encasing it invented in 1795 by Nicolas Conti, a scientist in Napoleon Bonapartes army. Modern production of the pencil was pursued in Germany by Faber-Castel 1761 and in U. S., production during the Colonial Period was slow and uneven, Henry David Thoreau made his own pencils in the family business 1830. In 1829 Dixon Crucible was founded Newark, New Jersey to mass produce a high grade product. It continues to produce outstanding pencils to this day. With mass production and the addition of an eraser 1858, the pencil replaced the quill pen as the ubiquitous means of written communication--the Power of the Pencil
The viewer will be quick to note that electronic media have nudged the form to a supplementary use without decreasing its facility.
Note The pencil in this photograph was made by Faber-Castel. I worked as an art consultant to Dixon Crucible Dixon Ticonderoga.
Pencil, Debris, Modern, Precision , Original Photography, Representational Photography