The soul of stones
Wonders of creation from the darkness of the earth:
Agate, jasper & crystal - lapidary treasures from Hunsrück
Hello! My name is Sebastian Stoll and I come from Mainz, Germany. My great passion are gemstones, minerals and fossils.
Since my childhood I have been looking for stones. I have always been fascinated by the colours and structures of the stones I find. The creative forces and laws of the cosmos manifest themselves within them.
Over many years I have experimented to make their essence, their soul, visible through the inner structures of the found gems.
I call these artistic "stone glimpses" Lithoviso. Please let me explain, what I am doing and why I am so fascinated by it.
Where precious stones grow
Around 290 million years ago, in the Permian Earth Age, there was great volcanic activity in the area of today's Hunsrück and parts of Rheinhessen. Incredible amounts of lava poured out of the earth and dramatically changed the landscape of that time.
The gas bubbles in the lava formed cavities when the rock cooled. They consquently filled with hot water in which silicic acid, minerals and germs of life were dissolved. From their interaction, colourful agate, jasper and crystal were created in the absolute darkness of the earth. Thus these hollow spaces became the birthplace of precious stones. Even today, science still finds it difficult to explain how the unique structures and shapes of these minerals are formed.
Primeval forces in action
For me, these gems are miracles of creation. They have their origin at the border between animate and inanimate matter: Although they do not live and have no metabolism, they grow and form their own filigree structures, shapes and colours. With a magnifying glass, true microcosms can be seen in some stones. I have also always been fascinated by the primordial forces that created them. These stones have something magical for me.
A time travel and treasure hunt
For me, looking for gemstones in Hunsrück and Rheinhessen is a decelerating, sensual excursion into the landscape. At the same time, it is a journey through time into long past geological eras.
The knowledge of the geological past combined with the knowledge of today's landscape is like a key. With it I can find the places where the treasures of Hunsrück and of Rheinhessen are hidden. Of course, a little intuition and little bit of luck is also part of it.
Reading the stones
At the end of my excursions I wash and sift the finds. Next I choose the pieces whose colours and structures seem suitable for my artwork. However, this suitability can rarely be seen at first glance. A good magnifying glass and patience support me. I try to get a feeling for the stone and "read" it to understand its characteristics and peculiarities.
In the next step, a professional gemstone cutter cuts, grinds and polishes the selected pieces for me.
Universal laws of creation come to light
Once the pieces are finished, it is time to take the magnifying glass out again. Now I dive into the inner worlds of the stones. This is an exciting journey of discovery full of surprises. I digitally record the pieces with the most interesting structures to document them up to their finest details.
The microcosms that come to light in the process provide impressive insights into the universal laws and forces of creation that were at work when the stones were created. They show what - to quote from Goethe's "Faust" - holds our world together at its core.
Lithoviso - from rock to art
After the stones are digitized, the next step follows: On the computer I intensify their colours, play with the structures and shapes and transform them carefully. This is a meditative process
that usually takes place over many hours, days and sometimes weeks.
In doing so, I render the cosmic and creative forces and laws visible. In this time I also encounter the unique figures, shapes and symbols that can be found in my images.
Each image is unique, based on the inner world of the respective gemstone.
A reference putting my stone art into the context of art history can be found here.
A glimpse into the soul of stones
I invite everyone to take time to look at them and to go on a journey of discovery in my images. This is the best way to discover the magical symbols, structures and figures in these - formerly
hidden - wonder worlds.
The pictures in the Lithoviso gallery give an insight into my efforts to make the soul of the stones visible and to encourage mindfulness in dealing with our creation. I am looking forward to comments!
Mainz, June 2020
PS: The pictures unfold their expressive power in larger formats. Then the incredibly fine details as well as the symbols, figures and structures are revealed, which ressemble elements of archaic and classic art from Europe, Asia and South America and draw from the collective subconscious.
I print my images in limited editions in sizes of up to 150cm x 150 cm on canvas, behind acrylic glass and onto fine art photo paper. I also create acrylic steles and crystal glass cubes from my images. My pictures and glass objects are available here.
Please visit the gallery for more pictures.