Excerpt by William T.
"I created the original Tears of Erebus sculpture in late December 2007 for McMurdo's Alternative Art Gallery show in an effort to make some kind of statement about our "Caretaking" of this most wonderful and pristine place. The base and the cone are aluminum and the "Smoke" is turnings from the fabrication of the cone. The "Tears" are molten droplets of volcanic rock made from the lava rocks around Erebus. Anyone who has been to Terra Nova, Captain Scott's main hut during the early exploration of Antarctica, will see the similarity between the "Erebus Bombs" scattered around the hut (some as big as Volkswagens) and the droplets in my sculpture. The statement that went with the sculpture and spoke of why Erebus was sad said simply that It is not the size of our footprint here, but rather how dirty our feet are. I thank Shawntel for inspiring me to go ahead with this project."
Erebus tears cool below the rock and torch that cause the droplets to form.
The first step towards creating the 'tears' is to superheat the lava rocks using a welding torch. The droplets just drop off the main rock onto the table. Some of them are circular, some less so. Also, some are unstable so after you give them a shake those ones will burst. You only get a few well formed droplets per batch.
The lava rock is heated with a torch.
I was first introduced to these droplets at the MAAG, but I wasn't able to see them created until just recently. William was planning on making some jewelry and waited to make the droplets until I was around (Thanks, William!). There are so many talented people down here. I love it and am constantly humbled. The creator of Tears of Erebus, William, is definitely one of those people. I'm pretty sure he can fix just about any mechanical device made and if for some reason, he can't fix the part, he can probably make a new one. I've had the privilege of seeing a number of his pieces unfold and each is so simple, yet so elegantly created. I wouldn't even know where to being.
William at work.