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The art in these bottles were created by carefully pouring colored sand in layers, without the use of glue or any adhesive. These were made more than a hundred years ago by Iowa-born artist Andrew Clemens (1856 - 1894), who was completely deaf and mute, a condition that developed when he suffered from encephalitis at the young age of five.

Clemens' sandpainting career blossomed at the age of 13 during his summer vacations from the State School. He would collect naturally colored grains of sand from an area in Pikes Peak State Park known as Pictured Rocks, separate the sand grains into piles, by color, and used them to form the basis for his art. Clemens inserted the colored grains of sand into small glass drug bottles using fishing hooks and hickory sticks. He used no glue, relying on pressure from the other sand grains alone to held the artwork together. Once the artwork was complete, he sealed the bottle with a stopper and wax. Sometimes, Clemens created his images upside down. Upon completion, he would securely stopper the bottle, and flip it right side up. The most complex of his designs could take up to a year to complete.

Andrew-Clemens-sand-art-2

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© Amusing Planet, 2014.





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