Posts Tagged ‘rope’

Greetings from a very hot and humid Falls of the Ohio State Park.  The Ohio River is receding into its summer pool and more of the riverbank has been exposed.  Of late, I’ve been running into more rope fragments from commercial barge traffic (or it seems this way).  I don’t  rule out the possibility that my desire to work with these objects in this setting has brought them into my universe and attention.  See the recent post I did about “Play on Earth Day” which also features a rope project.  I’m enjoying what can be done with them to create images.  Here’s two rope investigations I did the other day.

As ropes go…this isn’t the thickest or heaviest rope I’ve found out here.  What is interesting is that most of this rope is still buried under the sand.  There is a point where it enters the ground and remains hidden and fixed to this position.  I started out just coiling the rope…I love working with spirals.  The exposed end of this cable is covered with duct tape.  Next, I pulled the rope straight to see how long it was and to see how it activated the area it was found in.

The terminal end of this rope is buried under the sand.  I used that point to move and pivot the rope to create these other images.  Here are two side views of the straight rope and the scene it underscores.

Next I tried creating a circle by joining the ends together.  The rope was stiff and not easy to shape.

This image makes it appear to be more of an ellipse, but I did my best to try to form as neat a circle as I could.  The area I’m working in is in the eastern section of the park right under the railroad bridge.  The last photo I made using this rope is more of a figure eight and loosely reminds me of a chromosome.

Now for the same rope shape involving the roots of a nearby willow tree.

I came across a second rope on this sweltering day.  My clothes were literally sticking to me.  It occurred to me that I left my water bottle in my car which on this day was not a good move.  I needed to take frequent breaks under the shade of the willow trees to keep from overheating.

This second rope fragment is much thicker than the previous example.  It also appears to be made of a natural material.  Someone else found this rope in some other part of the park and carried it to this location under the bridge where it was abandoned.  I returned a couple of days later and this rope was gone.  I wonder what other project it was destined for? Anyway, here are a few of the images I made with this interesting object.

Next I placed the unraveling end into the river to link it with the riverbank.

Last view with the unraveling end draped over a log.  This is the position I left the rope in before departing for home.  I very nearly took this rope home with me, but it was too big and heavy and the heat of the day took its toll on me.  At the time, I told myself that if this rope was still here the next time I returned that I would collect this object for later use.  Nebulously, I had this idea in my head for another installation project.  Just what I need…more junk!

After playing with this rope, my curiosity was satisfied for the day.  I’m sure I will find other ropes and cables out here as time goes by. I found myself being very envious of this trio of male Mallard ducks!  They seem to have the right idea and so I will end this post with them.  Stay cool everybody!

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From the world of sports, have you ever heard the expression describing an accurately thrown ball as being a “frozen rope”?  I believe that means it was hurled in as straight a line as possible?  I know in the old days, that to make rope, often a space designated as a “rope walk” was necessary to braid the individual strands together.  In New Harmony, Indiana ( one of my favorite places and the site of two 19th century utopian community attempts) a rope walk is preserved.  On a recent walk around the Falls, I came across several frozen lengths of rope, photographed them, and now I’m splicing them together in this post.  While being frozen, none of them was found in a straight line.  The first rope, pictured above, is your average clothes-line quality rope.  There is something interesting to me, about how the rope meanders from solid water and back out into the air.  Then again, I’ve been accused of finding something interesting about nearly everything!

Frozen rope #2 was located stuck to the riverbank.  It’s a relic from the last bit of high water we had.  On many instances of visiting the park, I will come across something or group of somethings that then become a theme for that day.  So it was with these ropes.  While pursuing other interests, these ropes inserted themselves into the day.  And now, frozen rope #3.

This bit of barge cable is wound around the base of a small willow tree.  Unless someone removes it from this context, it will slowly unravel over the years.  Or, as I showed in my last post about bird nests, it might disappear strand by strand and become something else!  I like the ice formations on the right.  Here’s another ice shot I think looks like a miniature set design.

More willows have snagged a bit of plastic netting and I like the way the grid affects the way the ice looks.  It appears that ice and cold will be on the agenda for the near future.  The temperatures are in the single digits, but I’m hoping to go out tomorrow to experience a place I love during one of its extremes.  One last ice shot to go.  Stay warm everybody.

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