Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Glass Graveyard

I'm baaack!! After acouple of weeks of computer woes (my main drive went kaput), I think I'm back in the saddle again. Not everything is fully resolved, but now I can get back to posting and catching up on what folks have posted.
A few weeks back, Leau and Raine were all excited from their trip to what is called by local artists as the Glass Graveyard. From what we can ascertain, this used to be a dump/landfill at the earlier part of the 20th century; we don't know when it was discountinued as a dump, but during those decades, the contents would be burned and soil scarped over it for a new layer. Years and years of this; the site is now a part of Albuqueruque's open land areas and open to the public. Mixed media artists started rummaging the site as it has lots and lots of neat old glass;many jars and bottles are still unbroken. All have this wonderful shimmery patina from the heat and sun and being blown by sand blasts during the spring. And, some of the glass has melted and warped from the burning. Things that cannot be artificially contrived.
Anyway, they were excited because since their last visit, some cross cutting had been done (and Leighanna and I are asking ourselves what cross cutting is, but I took a photo of the straita that it reveals). The upshot is that it exposes new layers from below.
Two weeks ago I got to go and do some excavating; there were several of us as a group. It's fun, it's additicing, this search for glass debris. We become like prospectors searching for gold. And, trust me, the behavior we'd like to engage in would be along a similar line to prospectors. Like, if someone finds this really cool, tiny bottle right at your feet, you have to restrain yourself from yanking that sweet treasure from their hands since you feel some sort of entitlement to it due to your proximity. But, you remind yourself silently that you are civilized and that is your good friend and it really would be BAD behavior!
The images posted here are of the sea of shimmery glass, the cross cut, Raine in the midst of excavating, her cache, one of the cranes that flew overhead (we heard them coming towards us and three of us were fumbling for our cameras to turn them on and to try and get an image of the flock overhead; I thought didn't get any shots, but was happy to see this one). And the remainder are at home images I took after I've washed as much of the soil off as possible from the glass. You see how nicely warped that jar got? And the patinas on the glass? In one of the closeups, you can see a tiny old Bayer Aspirin jar (it's a curved bottle and small).
It's good to get these posted at last and good to be 'back'!

6 comments:

plasticpumpkin said...

Love the photos you took of your finds, Paula! I love that place.

Phoenix Forrester first introduced me to the graveyard, and she said it ceased being a dump sometime in the 1960s, and that the site had been used as a landfill since the late 1800s, though most of the material is from the early to mid 20th century. I don't know if this information is 100% correct, but I've heard it echoed from a few others. Last time we were out there, I actually found two antique doll / figurine heads which I saved and gave to a friend who uses such heads in her work. :-)

Paula Scott said...

Judging from the kinds of finds I've had there, that would seem about right. A lot of it does seem to span that time frame. I suppose if the cross cutting went deeper, we would find things from the late 1800s.
Thanks for the info!

Regina said...

Looks like y'all found a good stash. Raine brought me a perfectly split half-cup with my signature black and white checkers on it! Already have plans for it... :-)
Glad your back up to computing again.

redredday said...

oh i wish i could be there too! can imagine the excitement you described being among these hidden treasures. love the pictures you took of the glass bottles and all. i want to grab for that light bulb thing. :).

amy j. said...

Hi, all. I have been to the Glass Graveyard once -- but I can't remember how to get there when I'm the one driving! I tried today for an hour to find it. Can you please tell me how to get there? I'm in Albuquerque. Thanks!

Paula Scott said...

Yep, I have a hard time too even when I'[m driving to find it. It's down 4th st (I think or 2nd) and you go under Avenida Cheasar Chavez. I heard the roads there are all torn up with detours, so who knows...

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