It has been too long...but its a good day to return to the blog....with the goddess from Marija Gimbutas book "language of the goddess" ....this was a wonderful book and this found goddess was from c 24,000 B.C!!!!!!!!!!!I was fortunate enough to have a friend visiting her and was able to give her an eagle feather as a token of my appreciation for her, not long before she died.
So I made a shield with the image on it....it is about 3 feet by 2 feet, and is made from cast red cedar bark paper, with copper and mica and horsehair, bones, waxed linen and red cedar....I made this several years ago and today am putting it in the women's art show here on the island....
I have been busy with other water sports....like felting and doing workshops, have done two on feltmaking l0l and the third is coming up at the end of the month... These have been quite fun and lots of laughs and wool, and fibery stuff....am teaching the basic wet felting techniques, and once I have
done this will move on to specific techniques. I am doing this in my glass room so the number is limited to 4 people, and the light is great and even if raining outside it is light and warm in the glass room....
I have also been working on some different felting techniques, and some needling, and dyeing.
All in all an incredibly busy early spring. Stinging nettles are being eaten, robins are signing,
daffodils are blooming and spring birds are returning...The herring is going full tilt, so the eagles, and sea lions are talking all day long. The ocean is carribbean blue with lots of milt, and lots of fat
sea lions...it is the picture of abundance here, and I am constantly grateful...
Thursday, December 6, 2012
we have been blessed with no ice or frost yet, every year it is so different, remembering ice storms one fair on the next island, so it is a treat to have sun and some rain and some power outages, but it is still winter. Felting has been alive and well in my studio/home, and am working on several things at a time, which is not unusual. have orders for rugs, and felting and some dyeing but most of all, it is shroom time here for the dyers shrooms and so that is always such a treat to stop everything because i must go shrooming...slow shrooming is the way to go, and yesterday I found a lot of shrooms for dyeing. It hasn't been the best year so far but I am hopeful it will continue...the usual spots are not so usual this year so the mycellium keep us guessing. So much depends on the type of fall we have and this year it was dry and warm, I think some shrooms like that warm wet september to really come forth. More postings once this season passes...as next it is decorating with lights, which is the best part of the season for me...I love the lights.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Went shrooming yesterday after our first day of rain in eons, and found some phaeolus schwienitzi, (*dyer's polypore) which was still young enough to give me yellows...I chopped it up and cooked it for only a short while then put the white collar in the strained bath, thinking I would tip it with iron
and get a lovely olive tone, but the yellow was so lemony and clear I decided to forget the iron altogether....these do not need a mordant as they are loaded with tannin, so make a lovely last minute dye bath...
the rains are here, and we are waiting for the mycelium to rise to the occasion...lol and can't wait to go on a mushroom trip next somewhat sunny day. now back to the wensleydale locks, next one is dyed with the semi sanguineas so is a lovely salmon colour.....oh nature's generosity never ceases to amaze...and that is without even freefalling from 27 miles up, just looking down seems to work just fine for me....lol
Monday, October 8, 2012
Here is the latest venture on the workbench...and it was a slog....long hours of felting, and then sewing, but well worth it, especially since it is for me. I started being inspired anew by Terrie in Hong Kong, and photos of her lovely vests, so petite and doable...apparently I am
an amazon. Her vest looked so compact on the table, while mine took up a 4x8 piece of plywood to lay it out on....lol....and thinking I was making a short vest I ended up with a sleeveless coat which, in the end, was perfect....I do love surrendering to the materials and making them work for me. This vest almost fell apart when I flipped it over to do the back, and I thought it was going to be a total loss....but perseverence furthers, and I kept at it, and it survived the saving. I do run across this in many artistic endeavours...where I am working away happily, and oooooppppps something tragic appears to happen, and I think, oh, there it goes, no hope I have wrecked it, then breath, and think I will persevere, I hate this stage, but it seems inevitable so now it is almost part of the process for me. I don't know if this happens to everyone, but it certainly happens to me every now and then, and when I do persevere, and "bite it" it ends up showing me valuable lessons in patience etc....so this vest too, took me through it, and it was a big hopelessness, as it was huge and weighed a ton....but it did pull through, and now I have a beautiful over vest for the winter months. I trimmed out the armholes and the edges, and now just to make the right closure....
for the vivid details of the piece, I started with two layers of merino, then one layer of pelsul, and then the layer of the wensleydale curls...or the "golden fleece" as I call it, because I ordered it from england and it cost an enormous amount what with duty and shipping of 4 fleece. but well worth the money as I use it like crazy...love those long curls......
it will be awhile before I make another large project like this one....perhaps a yurt???? lol
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Bundles of "botany and rust" have been opened and surprises have happened like ORANGE////////
the seeking of orange from eucs has evaded me, and now I can see a little goes a long way, but it has arrived at least...the larger leaves are from a type of dogwood tree and they are dynamite...a wonderful green ..so welcoming visually....now I must take some serious notes, as alchemy happens and I have a tendency to not follow it logically with notetaking and ability to duplicate...I tend to work very loosely, and don't generally try to do anything but surrender to the way of the materials....
so keeping track does not come naturally....so onward and upward, more bundling and question I have is, do the leaves have the colour making ability there all the time, or only when they are changing like in the fall, and what is that colouring...and why some have it and some don/t....some leaves leave great imprints by their non-colour ability which I love but would love to know ahead of time which ones these are...today gathered some phaeolus schwenitizi (dyer's polypore ) and will use it to colour the water I put the next set of bundles in....so many ideas so few hours in the day to have them all manifest....but a walk in the woods was soothing, inspiring, and refreshing....nearing of september and we have yet to have to light a fire...sweet...and we have been able to sit out on the deck til dark and watch the stars arrive just after the bats arrive....feel so blessed.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
feeling the kelp...took me quite awhile to get the kelp looking kelpish, but finally I liked the result, when I jumbled it on the workbench it almost looked like it washed ashore. These were for our fall fair event, theme of
the Salish Sea, which is where I live...and there truly is kelp, although not as much around the island as there was 38 years ago when I moved here.\
So a success with the kelp, but those orange euc prints are escaping me at every try...get great "botany and rust" prints but just can't pull that orange out of the eucs...so illusive to me...today I opened a few and there were definite outlines of the eucs and it was lovely but it wasn't orange..think I will try on felt instead of the silk which is mostly what I have been using, perhaps?
so to appease my disappointment I picked more indigo and will do more dyeing with it tomorrow....here is a pic of the indigo flower
Thursday, September 13, 2012
l0 skeins of l00 gm each and still get vivid blues with one dip each....I will harvest more next week and do multi dips and see how dark I can get but loved the colour with the one dip so stopped there..
the vat was able to continue without any freshening through the whole process, and I followed Jenny Deans recipe in Wild Colour. One of the improvements from the past was her suggestion to dip in clear water the same temp as the bath, right after pulling out of the bath and before oxygenating....this seems to help a lot with regularity in colour, as all the flocking indigo falls away and does not leave splotches of dark blue on the fibre....great tip there.
Fall is falling, starlings chattering, and indigo flowering and still no fire in the woodstove, which is saving a lot of wood....we are still able to have morning coffees outside, and we practically live on our deck in the warm weather so we are stalling going inside as long as possible, even moved the
hot barbeque over to our table after dinner and were able to sit out until 7:30 last night spinning and
staying warm....it was like a wee fire...a bit less aesthetic perhaps....lol