Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fresh Fruit

January 31, 2009

Twelve years is a long time. That’s both how long I’ve been in Bloomington and how long it’s been since we had a snowfall this large. I remember my first winter in town, a fresh face from Canada. I felt right at home helping people free their cars from the snow as I walked in to work. This week we had two big snowfalls that closed the school for three and a third days (a two hour delay for Friday). That meant I had some boisterous company as I worked all week, so not much weaving in the art studio was done. Between hearing about Pokemon character evolutions I did get to bring my felted fruit to colorful fruition (see the January 10th post for the 1950s black and white version). I was really pleased with how the watermelons, oranges, grapes and cherries turned out! Some of my boys play pals were pretending to eat them, but I knew my son wasn’t fooled, even as he chomped—he’d never eat a watermelon with seeds in it. The other exciting thing was that the oranges gave me a great idea for another weaving. I’m envisioning a piece called ‘Sangria’, a pitcher of cold fruit in wine for a hot summer afternoon. The color for the oranges I made was a blend of five wools to get the flesh right, and I used big organic navel oranges from Bloomingfoods as a model. And then I ate them! The watermelon rind is made of wool from New Zealand that a friend brought back for me, and the light green that fades into the rind was a special find. It comes from a dyeing project this summer when I was making verdant greens and I had a tiny bit of a pale green solution left. I dyed and saved the fleece, but I wondered what I would ever use that fleece for. When I needed a perfect light green this week I had it!
This morning I’m packing up my latest projects to show at a felting workshop today. It’s for the AEIA (Art Educators of Indiana Association), organized by Gladys Newsom, and we’re going to make felted hearts. Valentine’s day is coming, and that means love and wool is in the air. For me, anyway—for my husband it’s love and chocolate, and chocolate for the rest of the year.

Until next week…


  1. gorgeous! i do needlefelting, and i've had in mind for a while now to make some fruit and vegetables for my kid's preschool (to replace the awful plastic food in the toy kitchen). your stuff gives me some good inspiration. saw your page in Craft Magazine- very nice. i see you are a transplanted canadian in Bloomington- my canadian husband spent his teen years in Indianapolis and went to IU Bloomington- he talks fondly of his days there. we're in toronto now- anyhow- take care- love your work!! Sarah

  2. Hey Martina,
    I am still trying to think of what I would like in a weaving. I love the fruit. It is amazingly lifelike, but I think I want something more like an oil painting so I'm going to start looking for color inspirations and ideas for you to work off and mail you a big box full of stuff. That's as close as I'm going to come to visiting you and playing! I'm thinking warm colors with shots of blue green and navy and copper wire. Have you ever woven with metal fibres? Mari is going to help me. Both the girls are very artistic although MIra has a scary logical element to her. Wonder what the boy will be like. I want it to go over the fireplace and be the central piece of art in the room. So it'll hopefully be landscapy. I still love that piece you gave me about rad12 so will want to look off into the distance and see the hazy future. Anyway, this blog is cool, and the heron is amazing and the fruit is so luscious I want to eat it.