The Language of Moss

Confined by the limits of the boundary layer, the habitable still space between surface and air flow, moss survives throughout time in complete containment, out in the wide open.

                            Finished Piece: 32 1/8 x 35 1/4 x 1 1/2 (Two separate trays mounted side by side)

                                                                                   Detail Section

This piece is inspired by Robin Wall Kimmerer's book Gathering Moss.  In it she writes that "Moss are the amphibians of the plant world.  The evolutionary first step toward a terrestrial existence."  I marvel at the things that are underfoot and largely unseen as they go about the business of making this world possible.


Two recycled typesetting trays frame the approach to moss having a story that needs telling.  Wire cloth is cut into 178 canvases of varying sizes and wrapped in plaster cloth.

I learn that harvesting moss is unsustainable.  It wipes out habitats too numerous to mention and regrowth takes decades if not hundreds of years.  With a small amount of designer moss in an old supply basket, I decide to recycle it to give it voice rather than toss it out.  I pulverize it to stretch it enough to incorporate a pinch on each canvas with the hope that this piece will help to inform in some small way.

 To finish (132 hours later), lift blocks are installed and the canvases are stirred many times until they all land in their rightful place.