About 2000 years ago the Roman philosopher Lucretius wrote: “We have lost our taste for acorns. So we have abandoned those couches littered with herbage and heaped with leaves. So the wearing of wild beasts’ skins has gone out of fashion -skins yesterday, purple and gold today – such are the baubles that embitter human life with resentment.”*
This is sadly as true today as it when he wrote it. And Lucretius was only backing up what Aristotle had written 300 years before him “The avarice of mankind is insatiable.”**
I have always loved acorns from the days when I played with them and pretended they were fairies’ goblets. I think I might have written already about the joys of a misspent childhood making oak apple ink.
So I started playing about with acorns and our lost appetites. (See the drawing above.)
For some reason, slugs came into mind.
I’ve always had a fondness for these much maligned molluscs – I remember a conversation round the fire at Tinkers Bubble*** about the uses for slugs and the only thing that anyone could come up with was drying them out and making them into something to mend shoe soles.
I just like the look of them.
So I started making my own versions of them.
Here they after I rubbed them with iron chromate.
I know they’re not realistic, more my poetic (or pathetic) vision of a slug.
I was going to lay them on a bed of oak leaves but in the end I decided not to.
Perhaps it seemed too cluttered and the leaves will come in for something else. Waste not want not – if it worked for Rodin it will work for me!
A less cluttered approach works better – I still use aesthetics in my approach to my work.
I have not lost the taste for acorns (or slugs).
*Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe
** Aristotle: Politics
*** Tinkers Bubble is a small woodland community in Somerset which uses environmentally sound methods of working the land without fossil fuels. Well worth a visit.