Category Archives: “Spiral Jetty”

Fun, artistic activities are great for Cold Weather

www.segmation.comWhen I woke up today, I wondered if Winter is here. 36 degrees fahrenheit is very cold for San Diego! I guess this means that Winter is quickly approaching. Some appreciate this season but most people seem to dread cold weather. With blustering temperatures, leaving the house is hard and developing “cabin fever” is likely. To ward off such an effect, it is important to remain creative.

Fun, artistic activities are great for cold weather. If snow skiing and sledding don’t sound appealing, making a snowman ought to be enjoyable. Or, try this cold weather craft: color icicles.www.segmation.com

The best news about coloring icicles is that this activity can be done outside or inside. Segmation SegPlay PC offers a variety of icicle pattern sets. This program can be played in the comfort of a warm home.

Another option is to bundle up, go outside, and dye actual icicles. Here is how it’s done:

Coloring Icicles

Icicles reflect the world around them. As weather causes snow to fall, melt, and freeze, icicles form. Sometimes, even when snow is all gone, icicles stick around to remind everyone that winter is still in the air.

These natural creations beautifully reflect the world around them. But there is a way to make them even more special. Once icicles form, color them with food dye.

The blog slowwatermovement.com shows readers the fascinating process of coloring icicles. According to this blog, food dye can be applied to the top of an icicle and move throughout the piece of hanging ice – even in its frozen state.

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How is it Possible to Color Icicles?

As the blog name suggest, this author is fascinated by the movement of water. Upon purchasing food dye, the blogger went in search of moving water in unlikely places. When discovering the food coloring moves throughout icicles, the author credited it to diffusion.

Diffusion is a natural transport phenomenon. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, diffusion is “the process whereby particles of liquids, gases, or solids intermingle as the result of their spontaneous movement caused by thermal agitation and in dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration.”

Using this definition, it becomes clear to see why a highly concentrated liquid, like food coloring, would slowly color the water molecules that exist inside an icicle.

This is a great art project to try in the cold of winter. Although, when it’s too chilly to step outside, consider coloring icicles while curled up in a blanket. The only paint-by-numbers software has icicle patterns that need to be colored. Click here to view Segmation’s variety of icicle pattern sets.

Read more Segmation blog posts about fun and family friendly Art Activities:

Beach Towels: Where Art and Function Meet

Create Beautiful Wintertime Memories by Building a Snowman

Icicles

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Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

Preserving the Art of Earth - Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”Earth was the artist’s first canvas. Before paint supplies and art tools, individuals used natural settings as means to document history and express cultural identity.

After tools to create paintings, sculptures, and sketches came into use, some artists – like the late Robert Smithson – still chose to create massive artistic marvels using natural elements. Earthwork, as it is commonly known, consists of large scale artwork that is set in nature and composed of the elements.

The Spiral Jetty, located at Rozel Point in Great Salt Lake, Utah is the defining earthwork of Smithson. In 1970, he used “mud, precipitated salt crystals, and rocks” to create a 1,500 foot long, 15 foot wide water coil.

Any challenges the artist was confronted with when creating the Spiral Jetty may be comparable to the work that is going into conserving the art. As nature continues to recreate this work of art, the importance of documenting this earthwork is ever more important.

How Is The Spiral Jetty Being Preserved?

Both nature and man have made quite the impact on the Spiral Jetty. In recent years, because of drought, the earthwork has emerged from its safe home underwater. Smithson was said to have been, “fascinated by the concept of entropy…” and may have even “…welcomed this transformation.” However, less appealing are the man made changes that occur when visitors, who have access to the site, walk away with rock souvenirs.

Today, the Dia Center for the Arts, which acquired the Spiral Jetty from the Robert Smithson Estate in 1999, is partnering up with the Getty Conservation Institute to document the earthwork regularly. Only time will tell if there will need to be conservation efforts to keep the Spiral Jetty constructed in the way Smithson intended it.

The preservation efforts are inexpensive and consist of a disposable latex weather balloon, which monitors the vast creation from above. The images, captured with a Canon point and shoot camera, help conservationists see how the work of art is changing over the years. These photographs will be useful in continuing to weigh options as to how they may best preserve, and possibly restore the piece.

Why Is It Important To Preserve Earthwork?

As nature and people threaten the structure, there may come a day when portions of Smithson’s Spiral Jetty needs to be rebuilt. Though many of the existing earthworks were created to withstand the elements, they may need to be touched up and monitored to ensure they last for years to come.

For the sake of preservation, it is important to be mindful of how both art and nature impacts the world around us. One reason why earthwork captivates us is because these pieces are subject to the elements. This means they are always changing and reshaping, to create a unique type of art. When merging man’s abilities with the natural world, it is important to maintain man’s hard work and nature’s creativity.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/arts/design/18spiral.html?_r=1&

http://www.robertsmithson.com/earthworks/spiral_jetty.htm

http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/videos/focus/spiral_jetty.html

Read more Segmation blog posts about art beyond the canvas:

Travel Like an Artist

The Body as a Canvas

The Natural Side of Art

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