Friday, September 26, 2008

Mer de Glace ACEO

My Mer de Glace ACEO is a continuation of a series inspired by my recent trip to France and Switzerland.

It's a little difficult, I find, to comprehend a glacier, even when you are looking right at it. That's ice? And it's moving? Such were the questions in my mind as I gazed upon the Mer de Glace, or Sea of Ice, in the French Alps, not far from the town of Chamonix, the site of the first modern-day winter Olympics.

It becomes more comprehensible when you see the staggered locations of the annual ice caves which are drilled through the glacier. And it becomes quite real when you are inside the ice cave, inside the glacier (see pics below).

Here is my representation of the Mer de Glace. It is rendered as I suppose it will look as the season's snows begin to fall, instead of the end of summer. A shiny white cotton fabric was used for the glacier. On top of this I built the mountains with various green and gray hand-dyed and tone-on-tone fabrics. All details are added with free-motion machine stitching.
Mer de Glace, Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

This is the picture I took, looking down on the Mer de Glace, which I used for inspiration. There is quite a lot of rock on top of the ice which has been dragged down off the mountain sides by the melting snows.

Here are a couple of other pictures to express the wonder of the Mer de Glace. The first shows the openings to the ice caves drilled into the glacier. The glacier moves about 45 meters per year at the sides (90 meters per year in the middle) and so a new cave must be drilled every year (there is a cable car and 300 steps to get down to the opening - you can just pick out a few tiny people down there). The next shows the inside of the glacier ice cave. Note how no one can resist touching the ice!

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