Cuttlefish bones are strange things- like little riderless surfboards they beach themselves obligingly for passing budgie fanciers. The growth layers of calcium in the bone are also useful for jewellers as moulds for casting molten metal into. The result is a wavy texture and a stinking pong as the bone smoulders and burns. The effect is well worth the stench though as it is serendipitously reminiscent of ripples or low tide patterns in sand or mud. I use this technique my range of Longshore Drifter pebble jewellery. Longshore drift is the ocean current that moves sand, flotsam and jetsam generally northwards up the east coast of Australia but also swirling around in big eddies that double back. We end up getting us all sorts of treats on the waves from near and far including sea beans from far north QLD and plastics from asia I like to think or at least passing ships! I 've heard of one beach up north that has only left footed thongs/flip flopsam and another around the headland that has all the right footed thongs. The ocean is an amazing sorter of flotsam.
One of my all time favorite plastic beaches - Sunken Reef Bay on Hinchinbrook Is- has entire television sets washed up on it as well as all manner of plastic domestic items. You can create a virtual lounge room with all mod cons for your campsite that is better than the real thing. It gave me a taste of the coming apocalypse, tonnes of broken and non functional consumer waste lying around while we inexpertly tried to catch fish for dinner. It was quite difficult to leave this place but I knew I'd come to blows with the prissy clean up australia mob if I stayed.
When I cannot get to the beach, as it is hardly on my doorstep, I find solace in Presley's scans documenting all the flotsam he finds in San Francisco's Bay area. These studies are a constant source of inspiration as he transforms the detritus he finds and others would ignore into astonishingly beautiful compositions.