The rock fairy

Ever since I was bitten by the rock bug, people have been giving me stones (and, increasingly, rusty bits of metal) to use in my mosaics. Sometimes it’s a negotiated exchange (“I’ll send you some of mine if you send me some of yours”), sometimes people are lovely enough to think of me while they’re travelling, sometimes rocks pass through many hands before I get them (like the chunk of quartz that was from my mom’s friend’s friend), and sometimes the rock fairy just randomly shows up at my office (which ends in me going around the floor, checking with the usual suspects to see whether they were responsible for whatever goodies were left on my desk).

Sometimes friends enlist the help of their kids in gathering materials for me on their roadtrips

Sometimes friends enlist the help of their kids in gathering materials for me on their roadtrips

It’s always interesting to see what other people think will be perfect for incorporating into my work. The rocks that non-mosaic people give me are usually much different than what I would normally pick up—they tend to be rounder, smoother, and typically more aesthetically pleasing or interesting as is (think of the souvenir rocks you squirrel away in your pocket on vacation and then promptly forget about)—as opposed to the usual “workhorse” rocks that I pick up with the intention of smashing to bits. That said, I eventually find a use for the vast majority of them, which is neat because it forces me to push myself a little bit and consider new possibilities. I also love that these rocks almost always come with stories, whether spoken or unspoken, and I enjoy knowing that people have connected with them in some way—in a particular place and at a particular moment in time—before they give them to me.

"Workhorse" sandstone by way of a mosaic friend in Pennsylvania -- this is definitely more in my wheelhouse

“Workhorse” sandstone by way of a mosaic friend in Pennsylvania — this is definitely more in my wheelhouse

I have also loved putting together packages of rocks that I’ve sent off to mosaic pals and sharing a little bit of home with them. It’s fun to think that the rocks I think are perfect aren’t necessarily the ones that they’d choose for themselves, even if we both make mosaics.

Drool-worthy petrified wood from a fellow Canadian mosaic nut, which was just one of the many treasures I received in our swap

Drool-worthy petrified wood from a fellow Canadian mosaic nut, which was just one of the many treasures I received in our swap

While I may occasionally get stumped—damn you, large, perfectly round rock, you will not defeat me!—I always love it when the rock (or rusty metal) fairy visits. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when non-mosaic people go out of their way to indulge my habit, and there’s a sense of kinship, community, and connection when fellow mosaic people swap rocks with me. Either way, the rock fairy is always welcome at my place!

This perfectly round rock was the first thing to ever mysteriously appear on my desk at work

This perfectly round rock was the first thing to ever mysteriously appear on my desk at work

 

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8 Responses to The rock fairy

  1. Rachel Sager July 1, 2015 at 7:45 am #

    Love the “workhorse” term Julie, With permission, I may be adopting that one. Thanks for another fun meandering into the world of the mosaic brain.

  2. Aparna July 23, 2015 at 11:16 am #

    Yay for friends who feed your habit! ;)

    • Julie Sperling July 27, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      They certainly know the quickest way to my heart ;-)

  3. Marian Shapiro November 17, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    Have any of us antipodes so told you about Mookaite?

  4. Marian November 17, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    Dratted Autorrect. That should have read “Have any of us Antipodeans told you about Mookaite?”

    • Julie Sperling November 17, 2015 at 8:54 am #

      No! You’ve been holding out on me, Marian! :-P (I did google it and man, it looks gorgeous.)

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  1. Complementarity and cross-pollination: Celebrating the day job | Julie Sperling Mosaics - February 4, 2016

    […] our day jobs are sources of mosaic materials, be they unusual or simply useful. I have written before about how some of my colleagues are rock fairies, leaving random gifts of rocks, sticks, and rusty […]

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