Tuesday, June 12, 2018

the post i should have written*

mother sugar maple


 june garden

 fallingdown barn
 by the barn
 fridge message
new maiwa threads
* i found my old camera and am delighting in its company. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

time was and passes

time passes
there are things that remind you of what it was like to be another you.
this photo of two impossibly beautiful young outlaws.
do you remember this story? raindrops keep falling on my head?
lost along with a whole bunch of other things.
there was a west that never existed, 
as well, i suppose, as an east.
 what does the mama snapper think?
she has other things on her mind.
 stay away, you
 stay away
so i did.
i don't even know if she laid eggs.
there have been very few snappers along the roads here this 
 at the grocers i found an australian friend
though not the tasty one i like.
 spotted in the garage.
i am speechless.
all of you my friends,
this paper,
folded here prior to cutting for spinning
 this is a beautiful kozo
handmade, lovely and strong and a gift.
any of you who read this
and gave me this wonderful paper,
will you please let me know?
(i'm thanking you now, again)
it was a gift, 
and it was smallish (maybe 14 x 20 or smaller)
and i want to buy more.
but dammit i can't remember who gave me it.
 in town i bought pizza the other evening
 it was very good.
i found a little drama, 
an egg, 
and found by a fly
 who waits, 
i guess.
 there's no such thing as 
free lunch.
beauty is, however, free.
  this pattern charmed me today, 
as i walked to the studio to finish sheet forming another 3 pounds 
of flax.
i need to have my hands making paper,
or thread,
or books.
soon my first born will be 
older than the men in the first photo.
how can that be?
after a long and busy day,
i think on the blessings of turtles who know their business,
of beautiful paper
now in the drying stack.
i think of the few plants i tend in my little gardens
and of the new garden i've begun
at the place i call Home.
i think of the garden of friends i've made through the blessing
of this medium.
and i am, indeed, grateful.
i was wrong. my son is a wee bit older than sundance, 
a lot younger than butch in this photo.
his birthday is coming up, so that's on my mind!

Monday, June 4, 2018

at home

it really takes some time and focus to be back home 
to see this place for its miracles 
to not be in the teacher/student mode
and to not expect the amazing OxBow food crew headed up by Mikey
to feed me.
 now i need to re-think how and what i'm doing this summer
new learning in with my thinking
some things come easy
like printing from black walnut mold
others require more,
and maybe a new approach.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

home and small things

using home as studio as livelihood is such a different concept 
than decor.
when i was teaching one secretary ran everything in the front office, 
from kids to announcements to parents to basketball questions
with grace and patience and no-nonsense when necessary,
she educated me in what that was.
i guess i didn't really know.
i live in a house (part time in two, actually) 
that gets things done in it.
i'm reminded of a quote dorothy sayers quoted: births and death and bridal nights
referring to beds and bedding.
for me it's the house, tables and kitchen stove...
i use it for making stuff. 
right now there's old black walnut dye being cooked down thicker 
for ink/mark making.
in the kitchen. 
in designated dyepots.
yesterday i found this:
well, almost this, 
it was full and the mold pudding thing on the top, about a half inch thick.
up close it smelled like, er, black walnut and mold. 

 i took it off carefully and 
placed it on a piece of paper to make a print
 printing process.
(i posted this on instagram and folks thought it was a muffin, 
which tickles me)
 the resulting print and the books i'm working with right now.
 here's the black walnut cooking down 
and some flax sheets, 
painted with pigment and me overdyeing first with walnut
(not very strong)
and with whatever else I make. we'll see.
i'll make them richer and deeper and stronger and then size them.
 it's the aftermath of bringing home new learning and integrating it into practice 
and knowledge that is fascinating.
my summer paper and book arts class at SLU didn't fill, 
so I have an almost free month.
except for a toronto trip and dog minding on a long weekend.
flax is on the way and here I go.
and i, 
who have eschewed "on-line learning" for all time
am *thinking* about this one with sarah.
there are some things i need to learn.
probably MANY things.
PBIers in my classes will recognize my aversion to *fucking fringe*.
I only want fringe once in a while.
mostly not, 
especially when shifu is being a page or a page spread.
so i may do this to learn better methodology. 
wishing it started tomorrow!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

PBI: the second bit

 Mary Hark is one of my papermaking heroes.
she prepared the paper studio for us by hanging beautiful Ghanaian indigo textiles
 and her sample table was festooned with gorgeous papers and other treasures.
i didn't take a before photo, 
but below is how it looked after three days, 
when much paper had gone home with other people. 
 love this turtle motif
and after we had paper air drying on screens 
you can see these wise cloths presiding.
we made dimensional and thick flax paper in Mary's class
 Mary read from this book, which i found online and is a treasure for sure
 the screen mends around Ox Bow made me happy
 so did the closest lavatory to the paper studio
located in the glass studio

 Mary presenting the flowering indigo vat to us.
 the right hand indigo dyeing is my shifu.
 it got three indigo and one black walnut immersions, 
shown here oxidizing after the first indigo
 there is an OxBow bathroom fairy who left us flowers
 Untying shibori
Giselle's dots/holes
 Mary continued spinning kami-ito after taking my class
 our two classes did seem to complement each other
 Mary was generous with ideas about color and texture in and on our 
and we responded with enthusiasm, 
despite continual rain and cool weather, 
so that drying was a true challenge.
 Andrea of course was helping orchestrate the paper magic.
 Many of us in Mary's class made a little edition of "quilt squares"
which were dyed in the indigo vat
 and tied corner to corner
 to make our class auction piece 
(PBI auctions support scholarship students, 
of which I was once one before blogging and this inter world)
 it's a long piece
 and John DeMerritt's class built a home for it
 a lovely presentation box.
I heard it raised more than $1000 in the auction!
 GO US!!!
Erin Fletcher embroidered the title on the box
Did I mention they made this box in ONE day?
 a piece Mary wrote for an edition for Minnesota Center for Book Arts
that I loved.
 the second class presentation show and tell night

 Beatrice Cordon's class cut up a lot of stuff and made stories 
 they had a fantastic time, much laughter was heard from their classroom.
 our table
 Chela Metzger's class
 of course there was printed work, which i seem to have not photographed.
 from my class, and completed in John's, a shifu portfolio!

 and later that night we visited the studios of OxBow staff,
all of whom appear to be crazy artists, too.

 and back home I found I had energy again.
i've spent lots of time in the yard and garden tidying and hauling and making beautiful
and at Home we had a tiny adventure. 
we came upon a child of god he was... 
he was...
a garter snake eating a leopard frog.
i was so excited I barely got a photo.

 snake was only about 24 inches long, and this frog was going to fill up an empty gut for sure.

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