I am a naturalist, geologist, and a self-taught artist and metalsmith.  

Me with Beluga, June 08

All art, photos, images, and text are copyright by Lorena Babcock Moore.
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34 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Sherri said

    Hi…I LOVE your work…all of it! And am intrequed by your use of raw ground minerals as a medium…I will check in often to see what your working on!

  2. Gary O said

    Lorena,

    It is fascinating to follow your explorations on these unique paths through the natural and creative worlds. Will check in here often!

  3. MaHoney said

    Go raith maith agat! Wonderful! Go maith! Amazing and good craic!

    Politics and negotiations have been entered and concluded–for now. ECelt will be back on live tomorrow from 7 – 9 PM.

    THANK YOU for all you do–which is a ton!

  4. Fascinating site! I am in awe of your talent and your very obvious inner peace.

    As a desert lover (specifically those special places in the Big Bend region), I appreciate your fern pictures and catalogs, as well as other desert flora.

    Simply amazing!

  5. mooninfog said

    I am always delighted by your beautiful work and am so pleased to have acquired a copy of the Ironwing 78 cards. This site refreshes me when I’m sick of civilization.

  6. Lunes said

    I have just found your site linked from JJ Colour Art at http://jjbks.wordpress.com/ will be back to read more over the weekend!

  7. FireLily said

    I love your work. Inspiring and moving. I have purchased the Tarot and a Shaman’s bell both have increased the work of my path. You inspire my life.

  8. Beautiful art! It really speaks to me. Just perfect!

  9. Cath said

    I was out hiking with a friend today and mentioned you when we spotted some ferns along the trail. She has expressed interest in getting to know more about the geology of our area and the rocks. Is there a field guide or beginner’s book on the geology of the SW. that you would recommend for us to use as a reference when we hike?

  10. I am a painter in Logan Utah. For a number of years I’ve been curious about making my own pigments from local hematite ores, but have done little about it due to my teaching load. I noticed the beautiful copper pigment you have been using, and felt compelled to ask you about it. I am curious if you used it in its raw state, or if you used some means to purify it. I’m also curious if you happened to know of any resources that might help me to locate and identify suitible materials and how to purify them for use in oil and egg tempera. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    • ironwing said

      For the quantities that you’d need, mineral pigments do not usually need “purifying” or any preparation other than grinding and mixing with the medium. Hematite and the other iron oxides are the most common. Some copper minerals are usually available at old prospect pits (or your local rock shop). The PAINTED EARTH page on my website has a mineral pigment color chart:

      http://www.mineralarts.com/artwork/PaintedEarth.html

      At the bottom of the page is a link to information and screenshots from my 2001 CD-ROM, Collecting and Using Mineral Pigments. The CD can be purchased at naturalpigments.com, which sells many pigments and other art supplies for egg tempera.

      Thanks for your interest!

  11. Daer Lorena – I am awestruck by your work & website found while researching plant based body paints – (i’m an arts therapist living in N of Scotland)where we have some wondeful lichens here in our ‘machair’ -land betweeen dunes & shore – Your LICHEN oracle is wonderful, thank you for the free reading – that is a nice gift & it was very apt. I would love to purchase a deck of these when you publish it& believe it would sell well here in Findhorn. Very best wishes with your work, your blacksmithing really touched me – I work in Russia sometimes & have stood for hours contemplating shamens’ clothes & tools, & yours have the added quality of a really female/feminine power.

  12. Kathie Lobel said

    Your work amazes me! And startles me — and I can’t quit looking at it! I love your black cats. I hope to get that deck when it’s ready.

    Will you be printing the 78 card Ironwing again? I would love to get one if you do.

    Thank you for sharing your visions.
    Kathie Lobel, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

    • ironwing said

      Thank you for your kind words, Kathie.
      I won’t be reprinting the Ironwing Tarot. The fact that it took more than four years to sell about 230 copies (including a significant number of international sales) suggests that there simply isn’t enough interest in the deck to justify a reprint. I’d rather put the money into new projects, anyway.

  13. Aubrey said

    You’re art work is breath taking. Is there a mailing list or subscription option available for your blog?

  14. Jen said

    Hello, I have gravitated here on a search for your beautiful Black Cat playing card deck. Are they available to buy? Please do let me know. I’m in the UK.

  15. It is always a real treat to browse your blog and see your awe inspiring work. I am also (thanks to my husband) the proud owner of 2 very special pieces of your work. As I have a real infinity with iron, and make work of my own in iron, your work is of great interest to me.
    Thank you for your creations!

    • ironwing said

      Thank you for your kind words, Marie. I know which pieces they are :-) I started making knives in 2004 but have only made about 20 (and several went to people who have more than one of them) so you’re in a very tiny club! I have wanted to try cast iron (and bronze, too) for years. But there are only a few places in the U.S. that are set up for artists to do it – and none of them are here. And I have plenty of metalwork and gem carving to keep me busy for the next year, anyway.

  16. Thank you once again for a most beautiful piece of work! Your painting arrived a couple of days ago – it is truly magical & we love how the materials are so carefully detailed on the back.
    I have been working in the foundry and pouring bronze into cuttlefish moulds. I have also taken casts of the palm of my own hand in order to create metal mussel shells!! (weird!). There are some silverpoint drawings of these, and of the cuttlefish pieces, on my blog site should you have time to take a look.
    Thanks again – we are very proud to own your work!

  17. I love your work! “fell upon it” while doing a search on silver and copper. Hope to buy a piece one day soon! Its marvelously original.

  18. kevin sites said

    Hey Lorena,
    Used a variation of one of your tiger motifs for a tattoo. Thanks for the amazing work. Wonder if you could tell me more about the original inspiration. It’s this one:

    TOP RIGHT: Tiger face inspired by taotie masks on ancient Chinese bronze vessels. The masks vary widely in design, but my favorites are made of scrollwork in rectangular spirals that have one sharp corner and clawlike points. Mine has eyes, ears, nostrils, fangs, whiskers, two front claws, and head stripes – can you find them all? The fabric design has fewer white stripes than the version on the King of Masks.

    Thanks

  19. ironwing said

    Not much else to say about this one. Although inspired by ancient metalwork, it’s not a copy or a synthesis, but an original design. A Google Image search on “taotie” will give you many examples from ancient Chinese bronzes etc. plus interpretations by non-Chinese art historians who have various explanations for the images. Nobody ever seems to interpret them as tigers, but it seems obvious to me.

  20. gourdman said

    Hi, I’m an artist/designer, and I’m working on a project that involves hardshell gourds and electronics, specifically audio speakers – the gourds make music. The lichen oracle glyphs really speak to me. I’m designing graphics to burn into the gourds with a lazer. They are a functional exploration of the technological, the natural, the primitive and the futuristic. I’m interested in possibly involving the lichen oracle glyphs in the design. Would you be open to working with me on this? I can tell you more and send photos.

  21. ironwing said

    I sent you a private e-mail but am repeating some of my comments here as a clarification for other readers.

    The Lichen Oracle is original in design and conception, and is part of a project-in-progress that I do plan to publish and make available for sale. When I put the images on the website, my intention was to generate curiosity about this unusual project and allow interested people to follow it as it evolved. I did this with the Ironwing Tarot, which was in-progress online from early 2001 until its publication in December 2004, and remains on my website even though the decks are sold. With that deck, I’ve never had requests like yours (which is only one of several that I have received about the Lichen Oracle and the Black Cat pictures). Obviously the world has changed, and ANY art found online is now considered public domain “clip art” and fair game for anyone to use. As a result, I’ve removed most of the lichen oracle from my website, leaving only the project description and a single glyph as a sample. I’ve also deleted the blog posts that discussed it, especially since the final oracle will be somewhat different from the first design. When the project is done and I have a publication date, I’ll put up more pictures and information.

  22. petra said

    Beautiful jewelry made with a lot of love and care as I feel it straite away. Very tasty photos on your website too! Ciaociao

  23. Karen Drain said

    Your website is not accepting emails. Lorena, are you still selling tarot cards? -karey

  24. Richard Hurwitz said

    Hello: About 2-3 years ago I purchased your DVD on painting w. mineral pigments; I enjoyed the DVD very much, but have since lost it. I am interested in resuming my experimentation w. mineral pigments & I have a question:

    One of the pigments you used gave a light yellow-greenish pigment – almost a pistachio green, & I cannot recall this mineral’s name (it is NOT malachite). I recall that the mineral contains nickel, which accounts for its distinctive yellowish cast. Also, do you know any sources for this mineral? Thanks for your help

    • ironwing said

      The mineral you’re looking for is gaspeite, a nickel-iron carbonate. Most of it comes from Australia. It’s quite soft but because of its bright color it is used as a gemstone (often with turquoise and sugillite) for inlay-type silver jewelry. Rough pieces may have a brown iron oxide rind which should be sanded off before you grind it for pigment. Also, be sure that the stone hasn’t been stabilized (soaked in resin to make it more durable/polishable for jewelry use) because that will make it useless as a pigment.
      Hope this helps.

      • Richard Hurwitz said

        Have not been able to acquire any gaspeite; too difficult & expensive to obtain, however, I have some purpurite that has a “rind” you describe. Can you share any suggestons on how to “grind off” or “sand off” this rind? I thought of using an electric drill attachment, but I am afraid that would cause the mineral pieces to simply shatter. Thanks

  25. ironwing said

    You are right that an electric drill would have too much vibration and would shatter the stone. A bench grinder would work, if you have access to one (they’re not that different from the lapidary models). A Dremel tool with a fine drum sander would work well and give you more control. The simpler models are pretty inexpensive. Keep the stone wet (periodically dip it in a bucket or something) so it doesn’t heat up and shatter. ANY grinding or sanding on any piece of rock should be done wet for that reason.

  26. Maria Sandra said

    I am Very Happy to see this! I am from Veracruz, Mexico, but living in the Yukon T.. Of Canada!…

    I Make jewellery..But always something new to learn…
    Shamans work… I see!…
    Transform..
    Healing.
    Shapes..

    The Mask!…Jaguar or Felinos!..

    Stones!!… Hermoso!….

  27. thank you for writing such a great blog…especially about Beluga…your art is amazing and would love to able to make the copper triskele knot..would every think of doing a tutorial?
    Margaret

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