Sunday, April 11, 2010


If you’ve ever driven through a neighborhood where the lawn was a solid, lush monoculture of well-bred grass seeds, well, that wasn’t our neighborhood, and it certainly wasn’t our lawn. I sometimes wonder if the lush lawn society harbors a certain paranoia that the weeds are watching them. The dandelions would take the lead in filling yards with yellow monitoring devices. After a while they turn into communications devices, spreading seeds to all the neighbor yards. It’s especially hard to infiltrate lawns laced with pesticides and patrolled by curmudgeons with bludgeons, but dandelions are fearless. I’ll admit it—they’ve won me over. I love to see them in lawns. They’re such a pretty yellow, and spring is such a yellow flower season. And they really are determined and fearless, ready to establish and prosper anywhere. Those are admirable qualities in anyone. I took a few pictures this week to show some of my favorite yellow friends to show what I mean.

Of course if you know me at all, you know that what captures my imagination in life ends up in my work. I decided this week to work on a piece called ‘Lawn Flowers’. I’ve done a similar piece that was popular and the composition made me happy, so I decided it was time to re-imagine the dandelion as beauty in the lawn. I pulled out my wonderful crunchy spring green yarns to start. For a moment I wasn’t sure if I should weave or make a salad. I’m envisioning a thick green base, as if you’re looking at the lawn from an angle, with three clumps of dandelions flowering. In a perfect coincidence, I ran into my friend Bonnie Gordon-Lucas at Bloomingfoods this week and had a spontaneous lunch date. The lunch was good, but she was concerned that I should be incorporating some reds and yellows into my green grass. We also bonded on the wonderful spring green colors that you can only see this time of year. If you look closely at the emerging foliage you can see the rich, iridescent greens that seem to darken as the summer goes on. We science geeks know that the leaves start to produce anthocyanin pigments to absorb the intense sunlight of summer, and those “non-green” pigments mask the spring beauty. Enjoy it while you can!

Speaking of yellow, I’ve been working on the fourth salamander for my ‘Salamander Salsa’ piece. Perhaps it’s subconscious, but I decided to make a Barred Tiger Salamander. He’s bright yellow with a black barring pattern, kind of like a tiger, only less orange and feline and more yellow and amphibian. So far I’ve only made the body, so he isn’t much of a threat to run away until I can add his legs. The ones I’ve made are more mobile, so I have to keep a closer eye on them. I don’t dare take them anywhere any more. So now I’m sitting at four-salamander salsa and waiting for two more guests.

The last big news is that this week was the Fiber Event in Greencastle. I carpooled there with Ruth Rives, a sweet friend with firm opinions. She recently started weaving and is really enjoying it. Overall, we had a delightful drive through the country on a warm and sunny spring day. We ended up spending several hours at the fair, longer than we expected, poking around in all the piles of fleece and yarns. I couldn’t wait to get home to start mixing green fleece with the drum carder I borrowed from the Spinners and Weaver’s guild. I’m trying to get just the right dark green for the dandelion foliage. And speaking of pleasant drives through the country, I also went to a reception for the recycled art show hanging the new Hotel Indigo in Columbus Indiana. The show looks great (stop by if your in the neighborhood!) and the reception was nice…thanks, Marilyn. It was followed by a fun visit to the recently re-opened ice cream parlor, Zaharakos. I got to see the massive musical instrument, the Welte orchestrion and sit at the marble bar. It felt like you were in a 1950s movie to see all the little spigots for soda. I had some nice conversations over a grilled cheese sandwich and a fruit cup. I forced myself to try and ignore the most amazing banana split walking past me, as well as all the other old fashioned ice cream treats. The good news is that I have two boys who will accompany me there in the summer to help me decide which to try first.

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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