Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Weekend

My arts and personal experiences were unusually diverse this week. I did a workshop at Stone Belt this week, which was a very enjoyable experience. The clients were willing to try new things, and we had a lot of fun together. We tried wet felting ornaments on wool ball templates that I created, and we felted some small ones from scratch. I also assembled my pepper piece—that brought a big sense of relief and accomplishment. Late in the week we pulled our boys out of school to drive to Michigan to see Grandma for Mother’s day. They were just glowing. They got to walk out of school right after lunch, waving goodbye to their buds who had to stay in school. We had a delightful drive north, although the weather didn’t cooperate. It was rainy, windy and cold the whole weekend, but we didn’t notice. It did squash our planned fishing trip. I was ready to bring home the walleyes for dinner but it didn’t work out. That left me with a lot of free time, which let me get a lot of needle felting done on my latest projects. I have just started a new body of work on a smaller scale, and these pieces are intended to be compositions with earthy tones. Instead of weaving the backgrounds, I started wet-felting canvases using techniques I developed as I wet felted scarves. I’m creating the frames out of thick wool cheneille yarns and needle felting the surface. My goal is to explore some compositional ideas that are rattling around inside my head using needle felting to create the images. I have retired from making ornaments, which was something I needed to do, but I learned a lot about pattern and color in that process that I’m hoping I can transfer to my latest endeavor and do some in depth exploring of composition….more on that as the pieces appear!

Now I’m back from Michigan, trying to get everything unpacked and the boys off to bed, even as I get the blog up. Basically, Jim is in charge of dragging them away from the Cartoon Network and getting them reading in bed. We did have a great trip, with two big highlights. First was the Mother’s day rhubarb pie, a family tradition for decades. I must say, I had no problem marrying into this tradition! Did I say I like pie? It is my honest opinion that this was the best rhubarb pie he’s ever made. It’s been a long evolution, getting the crust just right and the filling consistency a smooth, tart treat. Being a scientist at heart, we’re just going to have to repeat the experiment to see if he can do it. On the way back he took me to a secret sumac stand, since I’ve been looking for sumac heads to do some dyeing. These will go into my newest “compositional” pieces if I can get it right. I’ve heard that the fresh red heads are best for dyeing, but I couldn’t wait and harvested a big bag of last year’s seed heads. Tommie and I picked the heads and took pictures while Jim and Jacob sat in the car and learned how all the buttons, levers and pedals worked. He’s going to be ready to drive early! I’ll just hand off the keys and close my eyes. On the drive back I did some more poking, finishing off the flower heads for my dandelion piece. My goal for this week is to finish that piece. I’m feeling a little pressure with the Columbus (Ohio) Art Festival coming up in a few weeks. It’ll all work out though… it always does!

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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