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Liking the Lichen: The Moss Hunter’s secret oasis
By Anna Gibbs
Moss is trodden underfoot, hidden in the damp, shady parts of the forest and largely disregarded by the average man.
Thankfully, Henry Clarke is no average man. Known in some circles as simply “The Moss Hunter,” Clarke has transformed his yard into an outdoor moss gallery that makes use of all five senses.
A master ceramic tile glazer by trade, Clarke came to Oxford from New York City seven years ago. Once he became acquainted with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and its members, Clarke said he wanted to expand his repertoire.
“I came to Oxford, and everybody was doing rustic, rustic, rustic. So I said, ‘Let me get into the game,’” Clarke said. “I started out with the wood sculptures, but they kept falling down. Then, a guy brought me some firewood, and I started stacking it up, but it needed something else. So I started getting the moss and putting it on top of it, and I said, ‘That’s a fresh thing.’”
Clarke started working with moss one year ago, and since then, he said he’s found real joy in watching it go through various life stages, from bright green through rigor mortis and green again.
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