Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Wrack Line



The wrack line is the line of dead seaweed, marine animals, shells, egg casings and other detritus left behind on the beach as a result of high tide.


The word "wrack" comes from the Old Dutch wrak which meant ruin; e.g the term "wrack and ruin".  In the 14th century, it came to mean shipwreck and today, it's anything that washes ashore...seaweed, driftwood, or any other debris from the sea...


Including shells...


Jim and I love to spend hours combing through the wracks of shells on the beach...


Studying what the sea has cast forth...


And discovering something new about life in the ocean.  

I imagine it's a magical world under the sea.

And walking the wrack line proves that fact time and time again.


And I'm not the only one interested in wrack lines.  

It's the prime feeding area on the beach for shore birds,  crabs and other beach critters.   The birds deposit seeds and organic material in the form of their waste, which leads to the formation of sea grasses and dunes and the ecological health of the beach...

There's no doubt in my mind that poring over the treasures in the wrack line is a meditative activity and leads to a sense of peace and well-being.   

And so it is placed on my shell block....the second in a Reflections series I'm working on for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.  


It's been a joy working on these blocks...though completing twelve by December...phew...we'll just have to see about that.  Hope springs eternal.

I actually found a book titled,  Walking the Wrack Line:  On Tidal Shifts and What Remains.  I think I'd like to read that one.

I'm posting as often as I can but not as predictably as during the school year.   Summer life means less time inside to stitch and to be online.  It's one of those seasonal shifts that I enjoy, though I do miss being here.

Happy day to you all and thanks for your interest in my blog and my work.  

I'm getting close to finishing now...just one more major thing to figure out...

I'll tell you about that next time.

54 comments:

Teresa said...

Your stitching wrack line is just beautiful. I have never seen such a wonderful one as the one in your pictures. So many wonderful treasures.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Marsha said...

Just gorgeous. I love the soothing pinks and beiges.

Shirlee Fassell said...

Susan its really magical.. I love it!!

Cari said...

Simply fabulous, Susan !! You are such a wealth of knowledge and talent. I am in awe. Hugs

Mary Ann said...

Just beautiful...I love it. Can I ask how you anchored the real shells...did you glue them? Maybe I missed that post.

Laurel's Quill said...

so very lovely, Susan. Do you ever get tired of hearing that??? I never tire of saying how gifted you are.

Heather M. said...

I echo the other sentiments, Susan. This is beautiful. I'm curious about the large silver shell. Is it stumpwork or did you work over a metal shell?

Beth Ferrier said...

Your work inspires me so, to work more from my heart, and less worry about what is commercial.

Lovely, lovely block. I'd like to walk straight in and live there always.

astitch said...

What a lot of thought and feeling you have put into this project Its beautiful,

FlowerLady said...

Wow, your wrack line is a wonderful facsimile of the real thing. I love it. Once again you've done a fantastic job.

Enjoy your summer and post when you can.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Sheila said...

Susan, it's *beautiful*. Reminds me of Robin Atkin's Christmas line on her MBJ project. I'm trying hard to love the weeds in my garden at the moment - which reseeded wildly - when I was too busy at the school to keep them under control. My friend, Linda passed me "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" which is making me think about what these dratted weeds are trying to tell me about my house.

Walking the Wrack Line sounds really intriguing. I just picked up a copy of A Gift From The Sea as a gift for a friend, and the page that opened said, "Woman can best refind herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own." It's the Double Sunrise chapter...

I love that. Your work is beautiful -

It draws me in, and makes me want to stay and linger awhile. :)

coral-seas said...

Susan, that is STUNNING! It looks totally natural as if the tide has just turned and left a fresh wrack line for the beach combers to rake through.

Marjolein said...

Now you see...the balance is being restored. Not completely, but almost there. The wrak line is beautiful.

wendy said...

This is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love your work, your an inspiration!! I would love to do a crazy quilt journal but have no idea where to start! Have a wonderful summer!

Nana said...

As soon as I enter your blog I am impressed and overwhelmed by what I see.

Nana

Anonymous said...

I want to go walk the wrack line in Florida. Those in Northern California aren't so productive, but are interesting too. Thank you for sharing your photos with us. Your work is absolutely fabulous! Can't wait for the next installment.

Monica said...

Stunning! Can't wait to see what you next...

Wendy said...

Susan, I am so in love with this block! So many interesting areas on this block that it makes it hard to pick a favorite, so I choose the whole block! I have never been to a beach with a wrack line, but I would love to be able to search through one! So many treasures to find. Each shell and tiny treasures on your block is just glorious and allows me to almost hear the sea and feel the breeze upon my face. Thank you for sharing your magical sea block with us.

Rachel said...

Love your wrack line, full of delicate treasures!

Arlene White said...

Susan, this is truly a work of art. I just love the last three blocks you've made, I really have to get in a do one like these.

I love how you have laid the shells and the waterline is great. I have many of those shells, I might just have to use them now.

Thanks again for sharing, can't wait to see it totally done, and framed.
Arlene

Laurie said...

You always leave me awestruck! What a beautiful piece of artwork, and I never knew what a wrack line was, now I want to go down to the beach and will look at it totally different. Thank-you!

Marie Alton said...

Susan ... love how this piece is coming together! The soothing mute of the pink shades mixed with the shell colours ... so perfect!
Love your creativity & awesome stitching ... always a pleasure to peak in to your world!
Marie

Createology said...

Susan dear I just love reading your blog as I always learn so much. I never knew the term Wrack Line. Your stitched wrack line is stunning. Far nicer than the real one in the photo. Your work is exemplary to say the least. Blissful Stitching and enjoying your Summer activities...

Susan Shufelt said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.... I also love your photography. What type of camera do you use? I am in need of purchasing a new one and I love your photos..

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

You have thought to include every element of the ocean shore and shelling.

I thought of you the other night when the kids were watching something on TV about people in Florida shelling. They recounted stories of sights they have seen of those shelling in the wee early hours.
xx, Carol

Judy S. said...

Susan, you have the most interesting posts, not to mention the most beautiful work. Love this block!

Catherine said...

Well, now I know what to call those lines of debris on the beach! I am so enjoying watching you bring this block to life ~ simply beautiful!

Ati. said...

Susan, you make wonders with your needles. Each time I visit you I am speechless! Such beautiful work, the colors and composition.Because I love the sea and shore too, this block speaks very much to me.

Oriel said...

One word - Fabulous!! You are so gifted and your blog is a joy to read.

Lalhezar said...

I have been following your blog for quite a while but haven't left a comment before. This piece of embroidery has bought me out from the cupboard. It is an extraordinary piece of work that is beautiful, imaginative with a wonderful use of colour. I just love it.

Mosaic Magpie said...

I don't think my breathing has been steady since I began looking at this post! Susan, you know I think everything you stitch is in a class of it's own and over the top beautiful....but this piece is so exquisite, it takes my breath away. Somehow you have brought that tranquility you find only at the ocean's shore, to your block.
Well done, my friend.
Deb

Miriam said...

You have captured the essence of a wrack line beautifully, Susan.
I have lots of childhood memories of combing for shells along the beaches near where we lived.

Brilliant work!! Looking forward to your next post.

Aussie Jo said...

Your block is beautiful.
Sadly many 'wrack' lines where birds feed also contain hundreds and thousands of small pieces of plastic marine debris which is causing the death of many sea birds (see here for my week spent gathering data: http://teachwild.org.au/7-day-projects/teacher-blogs/saint-aloysius-primary-school)

Mary Corbet said...

Beautiful, Susan! My favorite part of the beach - and just so perfectly represented!

Lorraine said...

A truly wonderful depiction! Beautiful combination of textures, beads,shells etc...

momof3 said...

Your work is SO inspiring. You are truly an artist. I can tell you put SOUL in your work. Lovely

Saturday Sequins said...

Susan, wow! It's coming along just beautifully. The starfish is still my favorite part, but I enjoy the sprinkling of sequins, too. :)

liniecat said...

Stunning..............SO beautiful

liniecat said...

Stunning..............SO beautiful

Suztats said...

Susan, I love how you've created your own wrack line (a new term to me) and I think the one bit that really caught my eye was the shiny shell with the white (spider web?) stitching on it. It's a nice contrast between the sparkly and matte, the man-made and the natural fibers....just one of many wonderful elements.
I'm wondering if you'll be adding the frothy watery edge around the wrack line? Is that the 1 more thing you plan to add?
This block is a stunner!

Cath said...

What an amazing piece - it's inspired. It's been so interesting to see it come together

Holly Moore said...

Unbelievably stunning.

Wende said...

This is one of the most incredible works of art with shells and such I have ever seen. Gorgeous!!!

Allison Aller said...

A quantum leap in your work, this is...which is saying ALOT! And it couldn't come forth with such beauty without traveling through the inner reaches of your heart...

Ingrid Mida said...

I love the concept and the execution Susan. I have such fond memories of hunting for shells at the ocean's edge and I never knew there was a name for that line.
Hope you are having a glorious summer!

Vicky aka Stichr said...

Out here on the Left Coast, we have been seeing Tsunami debris wash in. It's sad.

Anonymous said...

This block is amazing! It does seem too beautiful for a term like "wrack".
Marci

wonderlandwoodsblog.blogspot.com said...

Every time you post something new on this project, I think, "Oooo, Oooo, this is my favorite part!!" And then you surprise me with something even more wonderful next time. You're a treasure. Thank you! -Starr

Nicki Lee said...

Thank you for my weekly walk along the beach... you've made me feel like I was there already. Stunning work as always!

Flavia said...

You, your art, your creativity are an inspiration. Thank you for your lovely work and your sweetness.

Anna said...

Susan,
This piece has evolved in a most beautiful manner! It's so fun to see the progression of your projects. I also love how you weave history, science, and your feelings about the world into each post. Thanks for sharing!

Queen Bee's Musings said...

Love the wrack line and your crab progress. I enjoying learning so very much from you and the awareness you share about your discoveries! Thank you...

buggalcrafts said...

Lovely! I've done "Sea Wrack" grapevine wreaths. I may have to do another using some of your techinques.

Jo Hellyer said...

Beautiful work thank you for sharing <3

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