Who would've thought paleolithic ponderings would emerge from the glass while I was torching Friday? Oh, she's a far cry from the bison, horses, and other ancient animals found drawn inside the caves of western Europe, but she is indeed related in a roundabout way.
The Mind in the Cave, by David Lewis-Williams, has been slowly capturing my thought this weekend. If you click on the link, you'll get a review, one I haven't even read all the way through yet but thought looked informative. Whether this book is pop-archeology, or whether it is basically a textbook dressed up for public consumption, I'm not sure. I surely don't know much about archeology, except that I find it fascinating when I run across it. . . and since what I find fascinating is the process of trying to explain what was on the mind of a fellow human being at any point in time, then it doesn't matter so much to me whether or not this book is deemed acceptable by archeological circles. I just want to hear what the guy has to say about all those cave paintings :)
Anyway, one of the things that jumped out at me was the description of some cave paintings that used the natural outlines and/or bulges of the rocks to guide the shaping of the animals drawn in particular places. For instance, instead of drawing an entire standing bison inside the boundaries of a raised part of rock, Paleolithic man (or woman or both, haven't read that far yet) might expand the body of the bison to follow all the curves of the outcropping, even if that didn't leave room to paint the legs.
Think that observation might resonate with someone who lets the pull of gravity on globs of molten glass determine where the curve of a hip might be in a sculpture? You know, someone who lets the base glob of glass shape itself and then decides how to nudge it a bit further into a suitable shape?
This Pillar of the Sun was not intended to be a goddess or a sculpture. She was supposed to be a bead. . .until a belly button formed itself where I was haphazardly painting extra streaks of glass on the pillar of glass. With visions of bisons filling curves of rocks, I saw a hip line forming and the goddess emerged without apology :)
P.S. I'll let ya know if I even finish the book. I'm not sure if it's dry, if my powers of concentration have dwindled over the years, or if both might be happening, but this is a slow reading book for me.