Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eye of newt, wing of butterfly, and petal of flower…

I cooked up a real witches brew of artistic fun this week. First, I stopped in at Wonderlab to see the finished butterfly piece and I think it looks great. Paula Grez, the volunteer who helped so much and took pictures of the project as it came together sent me an image that I’ll share. I’m still waiting for the glue to completely dry, which I expect will take a month or so, and then we’ll give the piece a waterproof seal. The plan is to hang it on the outbuilding so it will be visible from the B-line trail. We’re going to do an experiment to see whether it will attract a giant pixilated bird!

I also finished my ‘Transplant’ piece last week, even though it isn’t really done (hmmm…). I came up with a strategy to make a pretty red cactus dahlia flower for the plant itself. I started by cutting lengths of my precious copper wire from a roll and wrapping them with red yarn until I had a charming little pile. I made a small red felt ball for the center and started attaching the petals to make the corolla. I’ll admit that in the back of my mind I had doubts that it would work, but with great confidence I leaped ahead and glued all the petals on before I turned it over to look. Wow, it worked—what a relief! It matched what I was envisioning, and that pleased me. Brimming with confidence I forged ahead to make the little rootlets for the overgrown root ball of the transplantee. Had a little too much 20-20-20 fertilizer and auxin (a root stimulating hormone) at the greenhouse, didn’tcha little one? Welcome to my garden of Indiana clay and overhanging trees! Anyway, I assembled the whole thing together on the weaving. I still want to add a few things to the soil for a more realistic look, so I picked out some broken terra cotta, a rusty beer cap, nails and a small geode from my extensive collection of soil artifacts. I couldn’t quite convince myself to add them permanently to the piece—I need to be in the right mood to make that happen. So now I’m on pause with the piece as it hangs in my art studio in a place where I can’t help looking at it as I work. After I decide which pieces really work and which start to bug me after a while I’ll whip out my hot glue gun to make it permanent, but I have to be in the right mood.

Lots of new stuff, or should I say newt stuff, is also beginning my studio. I began my salamanders, skinks and newts piece. That means I truck around a bag with needles and fleece in nice skin tones—that is if you’re an amphibian or a reptile with bright colors that scream a warning to predators. I sit and poke during my boys’ Tae Kwon Do class as I watch and chat, or anyplace else that I have a little time on my hands. Soon I will have summoned the creatures from my fleece pile, just like my kids do with their Yu-Gi-Oh decks when they have a little time on their hands. A lot of that has been happening with the snow days last week, and while they waited during the dress rehearsal for the Trashionista show. That was last night, but I’m going to wait to describe my experience until the whole thing settles in. Basically it was a big crowd, a whole lot of fun and a rewarding experience. I also hung a few pieces in the Indiana Fiber Producers show at the Monroe Bank in Bloomington, with a couple of my big pieces on display right behind the tellers. You can also catch the end of my shows at the two Bloomingfoods locations until the end of the month, or catch the last glimpse of my scarves at the Bloomington Bagel Company. If you buy a warm scarf now I will guarantee up to six more weeks of winter to enjoy it. As for me, I’ll be cozied up in my art studio with my new silent space heater, keeping warm until the snow melts and the flowers start popping up in the yard. I can’t wait!

Until next week...

Martina Celerin

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