Saturday, August 7, 2010

cool night

i slept under a wool blanket, a quilt and flannel sheet last night. the night before, just a sheet. it's august, season of changes. my plan was to go to visit bob and frank, but on the road i realized that i felt rotten. and that it wasn't worth it. (frank, i'll mail the slippery elm to you) so i came home, had an easy night and was sick while i mowed the lawn, instead of inflicting myself on others. 
walking wendy was pleasant in the cool and coyotes talked to each other in the far edges.
the magic lilies are up and making a nice show. i broke two stems in my eager weeding.
when you make art about something, you become so connected. this phenomenon, magic lilies, occurred every year i've been here, 24. last year i made an artists' book about them. 
and now we are close friends. i look for them, instead of forget about their weird ways. it's all about paying attention, being present. for magic. for lilies. 
when the dyeing dries, it is muted. the character changes. paper absorbs pigments and reflects light so differently than fabric. of course each paper and fabric behaves differently, but the contrast is quite apparent here. if the cotton (on the left) had been silk the photo would be very different. this flax paper held up well.
i've promised wendy that hannah is coming home today. she is eager. have you watched a border collie cover ground? they are not particularly pretty, but in a workmanlike manner they pour over the landscape, small feet staying close to the surface, wasting little energy, intent on the job. the brilliant sunshine this morning promises to push away the chill, this is my kind of day. 
from p.b.i.
this tiny sample is overbeaten flax paper, dried and finger manipulated into a nice curve. when almost completely dry i drew into it with an awl, making marks that really excite me. frank taught us how to coax the drying flax. we can aid and manipulate the forms with our hands as flax dries and shrinks.
this small pouch form is kozo covered with hemlock spruce. the red from the hemlock contrasts with the interior and the lip of pale kozo. though it shrinks it's not the powerhouse that flax is. manipulating drying flax is like working with something "other". it's amazing fiber.
flax again. this vessel has some promise. i will stitch the edges to emphasize the structure.

margaret, a new friend from pbi, has a brand new blog. she featured me (!) on it, and yes, she was sitting at the fun table! go visit her, and watch as she explores blogging and the nature of book art. she tells a wonderful story of discovering pbi through listening to steve miller's book arts pod casts


jude said...

wow, this is all amazing, this sculpture.
the cool is nice isn't it? i am renewed.....

r said...

yes , the forms are lovely..
their shape and their texture

Velma said...

i should admit, i went into this class reluctantly, trusting frank, not paper as medium. it worked out just fine.

mjc said...

It's addicting :-)!

Deb G said...

Oh so much here. The lilies, are they naked lilies? Can't remember the botanical name. I've tried transplanting them a couple times from my grandfather's garden in Northern California to here (along the Puget Sound). They grow but don't bloom.

Velma said...

yes, melissa, i am actually thinking paper as volume.

magic lilies were what i was taught, but susan albert called them naked ladies one of her novels. they throw up lots of leaves in spring, that i let fade away, never clean up, and then in august they shoot up flowering stalks. every year.

Fiona Dempster said...

I love the markings on the flax - and the forms you shape as the fibre dries are beautiful.

Marilla said...

The vessels are beautiful! I look forward to seeing some in person. I am home from Harrisville, with a head full of new ideas and inspiration. I hope your daughter liked the sock yarn, and that you will like the socks she creates from the yarn.

Velma said...

marilla--hannah loves the yarn and tells me she is making something for herself. bah!

Donia Conn said...

My mother has your magic lillies too and calls them resurrection lillies ( They are amazing. You just have to remember they are there and not plant over them after the leaves die down.

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