Wednesday, August 21, 2013


i can't tell you how many ecoprints
i've made,
on paper, mostly
but on textiles, too.
ecoprints for caliban press
this morning's work
i can only say that it's a lot.
this has been my pattern,
make as many variations on a theme as i can think of.
then move on.
miniature tapestries, igolochkoys, small editions of booklets
yarn (oh, how much wool i spun)
my hands love making these things. 
there are processes i don't like: felt making is not for me.
there are others that continue to compel me:
pulling sheets of paper
spinning a thread
sewing a seam
plain weave. 
just plain weave.
plain weave is enough to weave a life around and through.
there are related things my hands only liked doing,
ripping out a seam
braiding my horse's mane for a show
folding paper
nailing a board.
all liked well enough.
(indigo on shifu and daylily paper, and habu paper, spun)
but i have always been grateful for my small,
one tendon repaired,
beginning to be arthritic
and the things they know.


ronnie said...

I think my hands are wiser and know more than the rest of me..... I'm loving all those little squares!

Velma Bolyard said...

ronnie, be sure of it! and the squares here: lokta dyed with long ridge indigo at my last, wonderful class.

Debbie said...

Love the weaving, my hands seem to be moving on to new things at the moment.

Velma Bolyard said...

debbie, that's as it should be, yes?

Susan said...

Some things I do just because of the wonderful "feel" in my hands.

jude said...

my hands are asking me to rest today.

Valerianna said...

In Greece there is a saying when someone does something creative - like cooking a grand meal or spinning or gardening or baking a wonderful pie or whatever - they say, Yia sta herakia sou - to your hands... so, that! ( and the indigo, yum!)

Velma Bolyard said...

susan, exactly, like, for example pulp vs clay for me. pulp ok, clay, not.
jude, then do!
valerie, to your hands, too!

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that our hands have a memory, if you forget how to do something, close your eyes, turn off your brain and your hands will do the work - such amazing tools! love those indigo dyed squares. everyone needs to hold (in their hands) a sheet of your handmade, eco-dyed paper to know how exquisite it is.

Velma Bolyard said...

jean, yes! and that's really nice of you to say! i love it, too!

Velma Bolyard said...

jean--that's why my nails are always dyed, i have to have my hands in the stuff!

Jennifer said...

There's a satisfaction, it's a soulful thing for me, in the process of making. And there's something about squares as well. Can't explain it right now...mind is still befuddled from sleep. Sometimes I think my hands know much better than I what to do...if only I'd stay out of their way more often. Your hands know the way and are taking you on a wonderful journey. From first to last, the work in your photos is exquisite.

Barry said...

V- just love the indigo shift. Funny how as we get older we appreciate serviceable versus top of the pack. Go well and create quietly and gently. B

Velma Bolyard said...

jennifer, it's good to have reliable, intelligent hands, such a gift. as a teacher i'm always watching the hands of my students--
barry, yes, that indigo was strong and so fun to work with, my fingernails are still (two weeks later) blue!

handstories said...

yes, yes, and yes! beautiful images and words. I find myself starting to bargain w/my hands, trying to get them to promise to last.

Velma Bolyard said...

hs, i'm thinking that way, too

neki desu said...

get sennet's the craftsman and revel in his chapter the hand.
indigo squares,tying yarn, ghost blue and an unexpected orange.

Cathy Cullis said...

My hands ask me not to operate 'heavy machinery', so I love to spin and paint and dye instead. A lovely, inspiring post.

Velma Bolyard said...

neki, great! a new book! i shall look for it
cathy, thank you, and my hands agree

therese said...

ahhh....and what those sweet hands know how to create ....all so rich and beautiful, velma ~

Mo Crow said...

lovely work Velma! Honouring our hands, I love the shakey days... they make a delicate tracery so different from the deep fierce lines of the strong assured days when the hand works straight and true from the heart, that's is the wonderful thing about being an artist there is always a mark for whatever makes the moment... think of those last paintings of Monet's & this wonderful piece by Anne Dybka who taught me glass engraving
carved when she was 80 and losing her eyesight, one of her best!

Velma Bolyard said...

therese, thank you, and they are currently a little tired after chasing my daughter around trails on mt desert island!
mc, so far they aren't shakey, but sometimes they ache after a big work day.

Fiona Dempster said...

I love the squares and the grids that keep popping out as I wander thru the images. And yes, our hands. Like Jennifer I sometimes think I just have to get my head out of the way of my hands and let them do the making! I really do appreciate them.

Velma Bolyard said...

fiona, when i think of all the responses above, including yours, i's in awe of all of our hands!

Heather said...

I'm always saying that our hands are capable of such amazing things, it's a sin to just use them for typing. A lovely post, thank you.

Velma Bolyard said...

i totally agree heather

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