Betsy Bauer's Wrapped Rockz...
Inspired by the drama of the primal rock landscape of the Southwest and her Zen Buddhist practice, artist Betsy Bauer crafts her wrapped rock sculptures using stones she collects from ancient dry riverbeds in New Mexico and from far flung places she visits on her travels.
Not all rocks are created equal. Betsy carefully hand picks rocks with unique shapes and variations in color and texture, and transports these back to her Santa Fe studio. Here, she wraps each specimen in natural cane, fusing ancient Japanese basketry techniques with contemporary design elements from the Southwest, including turquoise beads and semi-precious stones.
Simple and symbolic, wrappedrockz are designed to be used many ways. Gift them to friends or family to commemorate a special occasion or to remember loved ones. Place them on an altar during prayer and meditation. Or simply display them in a vignette or tablescape to enhance your connection to the natural world.
For decades, Betsy has been mainly painting, drawing and printmaking. Her paintings and prints are held in museum, corporate and private collections around the world. She also has worked as an interior designer for over 15 years in Santa Fe.
In 2019, Betsy was itching to work with her hands again. She came across some contemporary artists on the west coast combining rocks and Japanese knots. She sourced some cane, dove into her rock collection and taught herself how to weave and wrap rocks. Her own unique collection evolved, inspired by the Southwest desert and the rich culture of Santa Fe, NM.
With this new work, using rocks found in New Mexico in dry riverbeds and beside rivers like the Rio Grande, she is making her art creations available to a wider audience and sharing her joy and love of the earth.
She is happy to offer her unique collection of wrapped rocks here.
READ MORE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FROM AMERICAN CRAFT COUNCIL HERE.
(Betsy's first rock when she was teaching
herself to wrap rocks).
A Little History.....
When Betsy first moved outside of New York to Hoboken, straight from art school, she lived a block away from a huge bamboo factory and worked in Manhattan at New York Central Art Supply, a shop famous for the amazing collection of papers from Japan. On her rooftop, she began making large bamboo structures using Japanese paper. Soon, she would travel to Japan to explore small villages known for their paper making and indigo dyeing.
Later living in New York City, Betsy frequently visited Central Park to connect with nature. Her favorite large rock there inspired an exhibit of carved rocks in a Soho gallery, which included a rock found in her NY garden with her handprints carved into the stone and gold-leafed.
Now three decades later, in Santa Fe, NM, she has begun to explore bamboo, rocks and paper with a new enthusiasm. Early in 2019, she began making a series Shibori experiments, folding and dyeing paper. She also started collecting bamboo and rattan and experimenting with structures of bamboo and paper along with her wrapped rocks.