Craft that rocks

The great thing about making craft with pebbles is that you can go about it with complete simplicity, or you can venture into a complex journey while collecting and sorting them, making sophisticated designs and images. Pebbles are generally easy to find, and you can use only one or hundreds of them in a single art piece. You can paint them, assemble them, or pile them up artistically.

When painting pebbles that you found outdoor, you need to clean and dry the surface before you apply acrylic. You might also decide to add varnish. This will not only make them shinier, it will make them more durable. See a detailed guide with design ideas and references prepared by Melissa J. Will a.k.a. the Empress of Dirt.

It is even more fun and challenging to use only pebbles and nothing else, except for a surface or terrain where to put them. This is land art, and part of the challenge is to let go of it after dedicating possibly hours of physical and mental work. We found two inspiring artists who have mastered this art each in their own right, one with abstract geometry and the other with realistic figures.

Jason Foreman is known as Sculpt the World and his photographic work is as impressive as his land art with pebbles. He also made works with sand, shells and water. Justin Bateman works in portraiture inspired by celebrities or famous paintings. Looking at his works, one can only wonder how he stores and sorts the pebbles. His abstract and conceptual works in other media are just as impressive. He offers mind blowing poetry and surreal drawings for children.

Finally, we need the help from Japanese readers, because that is where we found the most engaging rock balancing sculptures on the web, at the Ishi Hana Club.

Beach stones. Photo: David Bleasdale, 2005. Source: Wikimedia, 2023.
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