The art of balance
Michael Grab has a good name for someone who works with his hands. Then again, his chosen art is far more about the mind — or, more precisely, the soul. Michael Grab spends his time rock balancing, that is creating apparently gravity defying sculptures by balancing one rock on top of another. It’s almost impossible to believe Grab’s rock sculptures are not permanently fixed together, until you see him create one…
Grab began balancing rocks one summer in his home town of Boulder Creek, California. Gradually he came to realise that this simple, ancient art form held incredible power for inducing a meditative focus and calm in his mind. He now feels that he has learned more from balancing rocks than he did from college.
‘Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection. They become a reflection of ourselves in a way; precariously sturdy, mysterious and fragile.’ – Michael Grab
As we hurtle towards a sci-fi future, there is something incredibly appealing about the simplicity of balancing rocks, and its power to produce amazing transformations, both of rocks and soul. To give it a go yourself, just try to find a ‘tripod’ on the surface of the rock (i.e. three points which you can use to balance it), then just keep trying and have patience. Lots of patience.
Heavier rocks are actually easier; as you get towards the balance point, the rock will start to feel much lighter. With practice, you can work towards using smaller and smaller undulations in the rock’s surface, until your rocks begin to defy all logic…
To keep up with Michael’s adventures in rock balancing, check out his website Gravity Glue
Thanks to Lewis Wight for another great suggestion!