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Rachel Sager

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Hammers

As I near the end of my second decade of working in this sometimes baffling but always generous medium of mosaic, I find that my tools have become personal to me. As my hammer collection grows, I learn new ways to master the raw material of my native stone. Some days I use my hefty 950gram steel tip to cut thick limestone chunks into tiny square tesserae. The substantial weight of that papa bear hammer gives me the confidence to tackle the intimidating stuff. Other days, when my wrist may be tired or I need some already small sandstone shaped more precisely, I will pick up the sweet little 450gram. Although most days I end up swinging my trusty goldilocks 750gram steel (I call it this because it’s just right)

My niche process of foraging through the earth beneath my feet for mosaic material has taught me that stone has personality. Every stone I lug home, wash, categorize and finally cut into tesserae presents me with a unique set of problems. Every hammer is a Rosetta stone that gets me from that lump of unidentifiable, weathered geology to piles of elegantly shaped cubes ready for their beds of mortar. My latest addition to the hammer library is the dual headed steel with one flat side perfect for carrying into the field or for tackling stone that would otherwise abuse my carefully sharpened and preserved steel tips. I call it the forager’s hammer and it’s a worker.

-- Rachel Sager

Visit Rachel's website at RachelSagerMosaics.com

Read the interview with Rachel at GeologyInArt. The interview begins about a quarter of the way down the page. And, no, the picture at the top of the page is not of Rachel, it is of Björk, the Icelandic singer who sings about geology.  Clearly there is a lot of inspiration in those rocks!

I shuffle around
The tectonic plates
In my chest
You know I gave it all
Try to match our continents
To change seasonal shift
To form a mutual core
As fast as your fingernail grows
The Atlantic Ridge drifts
To counteract distance
 - Björk, Mutual Core


ode3.jpg"Ode to a Legacy" 

sager-mighty-marcellus-3a.jpg "Mighty Marcellus"