The questions around different forms of processing, those that reveal identity and those that change it, has been circling in my mind for the past month, so I’ve decided to work with a piece of specularite that I collected years ago in Londonderry, Nova Scotia. To begin with, I carefully weighed 1 ounce of this mineral.
This ounce is now the rock that I will be working with over the next while as I endeavour to reveal something of its identity. The rock itself is easily broken up, but to create a good pigment from it takes a lot of work.
I made a little ritual around the processing to aid me: the slurry created by mixing the rock dust and water was put onto my mulling glass and ground for 1 hour. This gets to be hard, physical labour after a while, but it is repetitive (as you can see from the patterns on the glass,) and I found that a type of meditation was possible. The results were then carefully cut from the glass using a long knife and placed in a glass jar; finally pigment was allowed to rest and settle for between 15 minutes and 1 hour.
I am aiming to repeat this process 10 times.