Spells for Protection

Salt crystals grown into silk with mica and graphite, along with smoke from mugwort, juniper, and mistletoe.

13 x 13 x .25 inches

Spells for Protection is a series of apotropaic drawings that blend the surrealist technique of fumage with the Scottish folk practice of saining. They are a collaboration between myself, the plants, and the minerals.

My work with other-than-humans is often antiphonal—one gesture invites another, a call invites a response.

In this case, I invite the plant smoke to make marks on the silk and then I respond to these marks by drawing with graphite and mica powder. The drawings are submerged in a bath where the salt molecules respond to the smoke and pigments on the surface of the fabric as they grow into the silk fibers. The spell is complete when I choose to remove the drawings from the bath.

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