Betsy Bauer Studio - Wrappedrockz


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    Inspired by the drama of the primal rock landscape of the Southwest and her Zen Buddhist practice, I craft my wrapped rock sculptures using stones I collect from ancient dry riverbeds in New Mexico and from far flung places she visits on her travels.

    Not all rocks are created equal. I carefully hand pick rocks with unique shapes and variations in color and texture, and transport these back to my Santa Fe studio. Here, I wrap each specimen in natural cane, fusing ancient Japanese basketry techniques with contemporary design elements from the Southwest, including turquoise beads and semi-precious stones.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I create with rocks and natural cane. Many of the rocks I have collected over years in New Mexico, where I live and on my travels. Friends gift me rocks, too. With my painting and drawing background, I am constantly doing drawings for my designs. I soak the cane and wrap the rocks in my studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some days, I quietly fall into a meditative state wrapping rocks. Other days, I am full of energy and bounce between drawing, designing new styles and experimenting with new ideas.

    A: The natural, organic qualities of shape, size and texture of the rocks never cease to amaze and inspire me. Each rock has its very own character, energy and story. The fact that they are infinitely older than we are is humbling and opens up a soulful creative energy for me to work with from the start. Some nights I go to sleep just seeing different rock shapes and forms and wake up excited to begin a day in the studio with the rocks.

    A: When I first near NYC to Hoboken, straight from art school, I lived a block away from a huge bamboo factory and worked in Manhattan at New York Central Art Supply, a shop famous for the amazing collection of papers from Japan. On my rooftop, I began making large bamboo structures using Japanese paper. Soon, I traveled to Japan to explore small villages known for their paper making and indigo dyeing. Japanese art and culture has always fascinated me with the way nature is revered.

    A: I am constantly in awe of the natural world. I am also very grateful to be able to work with materials from nature and experience the limitlessness of detail and difference in their organic qualities. In my Zen meditation practice, I attempt to stay present with all that arises. My studio practice also keeps my sense of wonder and curiosity alive in me every day. Working with natural materials as an artist, I need to be present to respond to the shape of a rock and be sensitive to the amount of time I need to soak the natural cane so it hugs the rock as it dries. And this very sense of wonder drives my design ideas and all I create.

    A: I have been a long time painter, living in Santa Fe NM for three decades. So Georgia O'Keeffe's work has been a great inspiration. The way she stylizes nature and breaks down organic forms with light and dark reflects the sunlight of the New Mexican desert. There is a clarity and sense of being in the moment that rings true for me in her work. When I work with rocks and cane, I have to be completely present to respond to the physicality of the materials.

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