I had no idea what a blog hop was when I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz’s 2nd Annual Challenge of Travel. (Read about what I blame her for here!) Fortunately she gives you all the information you need. To date my limited involvement with challenges have been somewhat guilt inducing. My FlickR 12 Polymer Projects in 2013 is flickering (but not extinguished) with the exhibition, lots of Samunnat stuff and just life in general (next year Elvira I promise I will be better organised!) I was attracted by Erin’s first Travel Challenge but was in Nepal and preoccupied at the time. I loved the Nepal inspired necklace she produced for it and determined to participate when I could.
Our challenge was to create a piece inspired by home and for me right now home is Broken Hill-a remote, hot, dusty mining town that they call the gateway to the Outback. It is the BH in the massive mining conglomerate BHP. This was a timely challenge to respond to my adopted home, to try to convey something of the arid beauty and vastness that I find very special. I envisioned an intricately caned piece, inspired by some of Carol Simmons beads pictured here and featured in PCD many years ago. As often happens though, life suggested other priorities and I had to change the game plan to maintain equanimity. Erin told me to have fun and I knew I would have more fun by having realistic expectations of what could be achieved.
During the month of the Challenge, the weather warmed and the wonderful desert wildflowers began to bloom…amongst the grey greens of the saltbush we saw vibrant purple solanum flowers with their crown like yellow centres, a steadily growing carpet of white and mauve brachycombs, blood red patches of the flamboyant yet elusive Sturt Desert Pea, yellow blooms I don’t know the name of and unbelievably delicate and beautiful wild magenta violets. Some mornings I run out on a road to our Living Desert and see only no other people or houses but groups of kangaroos and the occasional emu. The kangaroos look magnificent as they bound along, inspiring the weary runner. The arrival of two boisterous dogs in our lives meant walks in the scrubby bush (or bushy scrub) became commonplace. An early Spring unfolded. It’s not a soft Spring in the outback. There is still a harshness…the big blue sky, red sandy tracks, bleached skeletons of animals that didn’t survive the conditions; rusting sheets of corrugated iron, stones of so many hues, some flecked with mica, glistening. I wanted to somehow get the essence of that in the necklace I made.
So, here it is. Complete with rusted metal, solanum blooms, gum leaves, bleached faux twigs and stones all made from polymer; real bones; a beautiful ammonite fossil to convey the agedness of my continent; and some goat poo (that’s polymer!) in a rueful acknowledgement of the introduced species that are causing havoc to wildlife. My mum wore this necklace to the opening of the exhibition I have been relentlessly banging on about and she loved it which was good enough for me!
Erin, thanks for this wonderful challenge. I am really looking forward to seeing the responses of all the other participants to their homes. Hello to you all from here!