So I attemted various ways to draw the balls, from scrutinisng their surfaces, enlarging them, refelcting them. I returned to the idea of dark objects and withdrawal, and the purpose for which I had initially drawn them.
In order for these drawings to 'work' they had to reflect the same sense of lack of revelation. Be dark, minimal, repel looking, not easily revealling their secrets.
Waxing paper makes the fine surface hard and reflective, appearing more like stone or metal than paper. I felt I'm on to something here - a material sympathy with the subject of the stone balls.
My method of working was to scratch into the waxed surface, leaving an indelible ghostly white mark. And rather than draw the object itself, I left its silhouette , a vacant space.
The result of the test is a small ( 50x60cm) sheet of paper which is densely black. In some light conditions the shadowy shape of the ball is visible but from most angles the paper is blankly reflective. The subject is certainly withdrawn and hard to discern. In fact being drawn to the imperfections of the waxed surface rather than the image itself was quite disctracting and off putting. Perhaps these need to be much larger - larger than body sized a threatening black gulf of a vulnerable sheet of paper? ... but is that right for these small objects designed to be cupped in the palm of the hand? or is it apt to consider the balls as an example of what John Mack has written of as cosmologies in minature, a representation symbolic of a bigger picture?
Mack, J. The Art of Small Things (London: British Museum Press) 2007