Five Elements Shrine



May 2014
See my current artwork on Etsy

When people think of the four classic elements (plus Spirit to round it out) the descriptions can sometimes get pretty woo-woo and abstract. This little shrine to the elements is more grounded in the physical world and its wonders.

I reclaimed the frame from a thrift shop; it was unfinished, so I stained it with wood stain that came from a secondhand art supply shop (someone had donated many partial cans of stain to them!) On the back of the frame, I added information about the contents of the corked glass vials in the shelf below; you can read the full description of each in the first picture, but here’s the short version:

Earth: graphite from old pencils to represent Carbon, the most abundant solid element in the universe
Air: Pheasant feathers, one of the most amazing feats of evolutionary engineering
Fire: Dried lichen, one of nature’s tinders to feed lightning-strike fires
Water: Water from the Pacific Ocean; the cork on this vial has been treated to prevent evaporation
Spirit: A stick wound with spider webs (the spiders had long gone) to represent the intricate connections among all living beings (humans included) and their environments

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