Re-Discovering Fischer Stone
Reviewed by Kathleen Fink
Author of:
"King of Jaspers - Morrisonite Colors and
Patterns Rule the Lapidary World." Rock and Gem Magazine. May issue 2008.

I had asked Kathleen if she would review my recent article, "Re-Discovering Fischer Stone" and if anything should be changed. Her response below was a wonderful combination of observations and thought provoking insights that I would like to share with you....
 

Philip-
  I would not change a thing.  That is very well written and gets to some very basic questions about art, nature and what it means to be human.

  On the one hand, some raise the question, does it have to be man-made to be art?  Are Chinese Scholar stones art or nature? These totally natural stones were appreciated for their sculptural qualities and evocative power and extracted from the river, mountain or desert where they were found and set on stands custom-carved to hold them.

  You are asking the opposite question: if the result is beautiful, is it wrong to manipulate a stone to add qualities that were not originally there. It is important to note that the chemical reactions creating the added qualities are natural.  The person who discovered
the reaction has not the skill to shape the form of the moss inclusion.

  I have from time to time wondered what it would be like to be able to get to the right scale in both size, and time and omnipresence to actually witness the creation of a beautiful jasper or agate in all its complex cryptocrystalline glory.  I imagine a video and yet again, the mysteries here are difficult to comprehend in three dimension.  If you have ever seen footage of magma moving out of a volcano which is at our scale in size and time, there is something wholly other unhuman about it.

  As you may know, I have studied the Japanese Tea Ceremony for many years.  In this art form, the combined contributions of nature and human craftsmanship are so intertwined as to be part of a combined dance.  The clay of the tea bowl and natural glazes will always do things unplanned by the potter.  The flowers arranged in the alcove are natural and arranged to appear natural, but they were selected and arranged by a person as appropriate to the season and occasion.  The powdered tea is made of ground up and processed tiny top leaves of a variety of Camellia.  Those studying tea ceremony learn that each gathering to share a bowl of tea with a few friends is an event that will never be repeated and that those attending are part of nature and transient as well.

  So yes, your stone is something different as the hand of man was involved. If that is fully acknowledged, and just because this is unusual and requires special knowledge, why does this not make it any the less a form of art and the creation beautiful?   Sometimes the partnership of man and nature is not tampering but rather a worthy enterprise.

  Thanks for your very thought provoking sharing of all this.  Also, I would love to obtain a cab of that remarkable stuff.

Kathy

 

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