Dig Your Hands in the Dirt offers practical inspiration for artists, teachers, students, and designers, and anyone interested in natural, earthen materials (adobe, cob, clay, etc.) Brief, elegant, generously illustrated with drawings and 32 pages of color photos, it’s an affordable guide that…
- integrates craft, art, inspiration & beauty with practical processes to build awareness, skills, knowledge, and confidence
- makes lo-budget art into a practical option for anyone
- offers insights into how beauty makes life better
- demonstrates lo-tech methods to open the border between art and architecture
Projects range from earthen murals based on traditional south African pattern design, to a monumental labyrinth and sundial, a whole earthen park in Berlin, large-scale sculpted benches and structures, model villages and even tiny bird-houses of mud sculpted on woven frames.
A comprehensive technical section spells out the details: finding and mixing mud — in more ways than you can cook eggs; explanatory examples and extensive resources offer inspiration and sources for further study.
The chapter on “design as process and pattern” makes art a social activity. First, you build common goals and vision. Then, translate simple, natural (and easy to draw) patterns into sophisticated and complex designs that transform bland, anonymous architecture into real places where real communities can find stories and meaning as well as shelter. Illustrated with real examples.
Dirt is a democratic material for serious, beautiful, and affordable art, and this book offers a democratic process for creative collaboration, to make beauty into a shared endeavor and common property. “Finding and claiming beauty is a fundamentally positive act that helps unite a fragmented world, and makes sense of harsh and confusing realities….Art helps join us, harmoniously, to a whole.”