River's stones


"Whoever places so much value on a stone will always be surrounded by treasures, wherever he goes"  

- Par Lagerkvist -

Despite the title, I want to talk to you on this page not about geology, not about rigid science or academic speculation, but about warm poetry, a disarming poetry in its simplicity: I want to talk to you about the Taro stones, which have intrigued me, fascinated me and seduced!

Seen from afar, they all look the same, a boundless and monotonous expanse of white stones, but the closer you get, the more details you can see, like looking at a crowd from above: a shapeless mass of colored dots, and we can hardly attribute each colored dot has its own individuality, but if we get closer, if we walk in the crowd, if we stop to observe the faces one by one, then we realize that every single dot has its own individuality, its own history, its own present, and a its future, each of those dots is unique!

Thus the stones of the river, torn from who knows what mountain, dragged for kilometers and kilometres, modelled, chipped, smoothed, rounded by the impetuous current of the river, amalgamated, separated, broken and then remixed, randomly scattered in the wide valley, abandoned where the current slows down its flow. Here we can see them resting, calm, waiting for the tumult of the next flood, so all similar from afar, to a careless and superficial glance, but all different if we get closer and deign to give them a little of our attention. Then a world will open up to us, made of soft and pastel colours, designs and textures that recall ancient cartographies of distant worlds, sweet or angular shapes, depending on the path taken during their existence, depending on their age, a world will appear to us not only graphically curious, but also sonorous, moving them and clashing them together, and a tactile world, because the stones, as well as being beautiful, are also gratifying and reassuring to hold in the hand, and in a certain sense they are also sensual: the contact of the bare skin with the rocky material, with the primordial element of the earth.

click on the image >>> enter photo gallery

Stones, pebbles, boulders, stones, have the strangest shapes, have the most different colours, some soft and delicate, others strong and decisive, they have designs and textures that run through them, some are even perforated or engraved, others are broken, others not simply broken but it is as if they had been cut by a very sharp blade, and every sign, every line, every streak, every colour, has its own reason.... every sign can tell a story, and with a little imagination we can see a lot of things: old geographical maps of some distant exotic country, ancient globes, abstract drawings of modern art, and if we wet them in water the drawings and colors become more intense and bright, brilliant and seductive, in fact the stones they are much prettier in the rain!

The sun, water, wind and chemical elements are the sculptors who modeled these small masterpieces, creating a kaleidoscope of shapes and colors that nature generously offers to our eyes and, through them, speaks to our spirits, to our souls.

All are rounded and have sensual shapes, inviting you to be touched, to be held in the hand, to be caressed: sinuous and soft shapes, despite the heavy hardness of the material.

Even the time of day, the atmosphere and the season become accomplices of the stones, and so from time to time they become soft and melancholy in the fog, fun and lively in full sun, warm and winking at sunset!

The stones can be collected, they can be brought home, to have a bit of nature and concreteness even within the home, with the pleasure of having a beautiful thing given by Nature, and not bought in a shop. We can paint stones, we can create mosaics, or invent a thousand other things. or more simply we can leave them where they are, and simply observe them.

You can also throw stones if you don't like someone, but here we're going to be criminal...

Every now and then I pick up someone and take them home, it's always a pleasure to look at them, take them in my hand, caress them and turn them between my fingers, they are like magical amulets, gifts from Nature that speak to our most ancient and instinctive sphere. And I never get tired of photographing them and letting myself be influenced.

In Parma there was a photographer shop who had photographs printed on stones in his shop window, they struck me a lot, they were very beautiful things, having a projector/enlarger and a small darkroom you can also do them at home: just spread the emulsion on the stone photosensitive, they are still on the market, both liquid and gelatinous, to be spread on the most unexpected supports.

A very interesting, fun and relaxing activity is that of Stone Balancing, or the art of creating overlapping stones, a game of aesthetics and balance, which puts us in contact with Nature, but above all with ourselves. With patience and balance, fascinating sculptures are modeled, without the other aid of stone and gravity, an active meditation, surrounded only by nature and the sound of flowing water. It might seem like a modern oddity, but instead it is a very ancient Zen discipline, obviously of oriental origin.  To know more >>>

Artists with pebbles :

I am always left literally speechless in front of such beauty and skill !

Erzsébet Szilajka, a talented Hungarian artist, knows how to create wonderful pictures with river stones, look and you will be amazed ...

The stones contain their own harmony, with the stones you can also play, as demonstrated by the artist Pinuccio Sciola, who created this magnificent sound museum in his town of San Sperate, in Sardinia.

This spiral is drawn with stones and salt crystals on the shores of a large salt lake in Utah and is a beautiful work by the artist Robert Smithson.

Stone balance, stone art and land art by a very good artist from Parma

Learning balance...

Some creative ideas to make with stones...

Letter to a stone ...

Michael Grab, the artist who puts stones in balance to find peace...

The land art of Jon Foreman, a Welsh artist who sculpts the world, as the title of his social page states: it's incredible how many magnificent things can be done simply with stones! For Jon it is a therapeutic art that helps him feel better.

The painted stones of the artist Roberto Rizzo

Stone Balancing: Learn the art…