Rock flour


Made in

Paper 23 Regenerative 41 Hemp 10 Paper 12

Rock flour

Photos: Kristian Holm, Sara Martinsen

Layers Of Reserve

Sara Martinsen is a Danish designer and artist who always search for new information about materials and their characteristics or potential. In her research, she came across a material named glacier flour and decided to create different art pieces while investigating and learning more about rock dust. The material originates from Greenland where The Arctic rock is crushed by the glaciers and approx 1 billion tons of rock flour is washed out together with the melted ice every year. When collected and used in deprived soil the minerals will boost farming and ensure a higher yield per area. In the Arctic climate, the material rests inactive but when it meets a hot and moist climate the mineral nutrition will be released. This is extremely relevant in the Tropical climate where the soil is poor and deforestation creates a massive and negative impact on the Globe. The material seems grey and insipid but turns out to offer many great solutions for some of the complicated problems like the lack of global food security, human inequality, deforestation, climate challenges and might even offer a profitable business for Greenland. The material used in this specific art piece is collected in Maalutu, Nuuk, Greenland and provided by geologist Minik Rosing.
Sara wishes to communicate the potential of this incredible material by bringing a geological hot topic into the world of art. The rock flour might seem like any other grey stone dust but when showcased in different ways and arranged in repetitive compositions a visual story becomes alive.
‘Art can act as a material mediator’ Sara explains ‘and a tactile object will appeal to our senses and our curiosity. This is a good starting point if you want to catch people’s attention’, she continues.

One of Saras works is a yellow archive filled with layers of paper. Every piece of paper is covered with glacier flour and the title is ‘Archive Of Potential’ stating the obvious; that we should all dig into this material archive and bring the valuable dust into play.
Another object is a freestanding bundle of paper tied together with a string of thin rope. The rock flour has been applied with water to the paper and left to dry leaving a crackled desert looking surface. The object looks like an ancient book full of important notes and is named ‘Layers Of Reserve’.
The third object rests on the wall with the help of four yellow chisels. The chisel is a tool used when you need to knock something loose from its surface, especially stone or granite. The yellow colour is a signal colour used to illustrate the importance and therefore Sara choose to apply this colour to both the archive piece and the four chisels.
For all three art pieces, the repetitive layers represent the millions of years and geological layers of material that the globe consists of.
Sara hopes to see politicians, companies and geologists sit down together and figure out a responsible way to bring this highly relevant dust out of Greenland and to the tropical belt.

Additional information

The rock flour is dissolved in water and made into a paste. This paste is applied to brown non bleached paper and dried in the sun.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Rock flour, paper, hemp string.


Minik Rousing