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Maine mica artist Katrina Boelsma of West Bethel creates art with found mica. Rose Lincoln/The Bethel Citizen

GREENWOOD — About a year ago, artist Katrina Boelsma of West Bethel found a piece of mica that was “almost the shape of Maine.”

“I’ll just cut a little here and a little there,” Boelsma said she thought of the delicate sliver of mineral that now matches an outline of the state.

Finding mica in mineral-laden western Maine has been easy, she said, as she heads out wearing her backpack to her family’s property, West Bethel’s Wheeler Mica Mine and other locales.

“I love getting out there and finding it as much as I love making the art,” she said.

Boelsma, who as a child owned a horse named Mica, has made layered mountain vistas, a mica-winged 3D angel, and mica moon phase wall hangings.

She is currently trying to figure out how she will do a mica eclipse between now and April 8 when parts of Maine are expected to see a full eclipse of the sun.

Like the moon phase art she creates, her recent deep dive into making art made from mica is still evolving.

SELECTIVE PROCESS

She is choosy about which mica she uses for various projects. Different striations in the mica won’t work for moons, whereas other veiny pieces work well.

Some mica has a peach color from iron in the soil, she said. She prefers the smoky or clear mica she can find at Wheeler’s. Black mica is called biotite and is a mixture of magnesium and potassium, Boelsma said, while white mica that is silvery is called muscovite and is made up of aluminum and potassium.

Occasionally she finds green specks in mica, too. That is tourmaline, she said.

Moon phase art pieces by Maine mica

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