Making stick art and natural lighting requires constant refinement! Is how I am doing things good enough? Do the materials work? Do they bend? Does the finish work perfectly? And so on and so on…. There have been so many progressions of materials and finishes in the making of my stick artwork over the past 25 years. To me the important qualities are is it environmentally safe and sustainable. If I am using it and it is bad for me and the planet then it needs to be reconsidered.
Polyurethanes and many oils have toxic fumes and the process to make them is not sustainable. The materials are also tremendously important. I have always insisted that the materials I use be harvested by me and not just bought somewhere. Every part of the process needs to have art in it. Does the wood have Sacred qualities or come from Sacred land? As the years have gone by I have been able to check both of those boxes with the materials I use. Instead of searching and driving a lot I am able to harvest them in the Sacred and native American area I live in. No driving and still some searching for just the right length and diameter but otherwise close to home. To make many of my lights the materials need to bend. Color is also important. A deep brown is just right to blend in with most interiors. The Hazelnut I use bends well when cut and has this subtle brown tone. The finish I have come to after years of doing natural materials artwork is a super natural Hemp oil. It can go on wet wood and dries to a Mate finish and also is No VOC for me and for clients to live with. So I think I am there…….. and maybe I will still branch out and use new and different materials such as driftwood. All part of the evolving process that I love!