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.


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 artist Katrina Boelsma of West Bethel. Rose Lincoln/The Bethel Citizen

Boelsma shared two photographs by email to better explain the reflective qualities of mica.


“Both are the exact same work, but I noticed that in one photo, the moon looks red. I was wearing a red shirt and it produced a blood moon,” Boelsma wrote in the email.

“The moon appears to emit its own source of light just like mica does, but each is reflecting the source back. I find that every piece I create looks different depending on how the light hits it in any given moment.”

For the sparkles in her moon phase pieces she uses a blender she now refers to as her “mica blender” to chop the white mica that sparkles around the moons.

She is taking a woodworking class to learn to make her own frames and has decided going forward she will omit glass from her frames. She thinks the reflection takes away from the art and she doesn’t like that sometimes the mica will stick to the glass.

Boelsma has made all kinds of art: embroidered clothing, acrylic paintings and pencil drawings. Mica art is new for her and as she gets her business going, she admits that marketing is her weak spot. Soon she’ll sell on Facebook and Etsy and has signed on to do a spring art fair.

For now, pieces are for sale at Bethel’s Gemini Cafe, where she works part time baking cookies and cakes.

“It’s pretty fun and magical around here to have something like mica sparkling all over the place,” Boelsma said.

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