Sunday, September 12, 2010

My September 11th

Today is anniversary day—Jim and I were married on September 11, 1999! Two boys and a lot of art later, I’m sooo happy with how things have worked out.

Today was a low-key rainy Saturday, which is what I have needed after a long summer of art fairs. I spent a bit of time today wrapping fern leaves for a commissioned piece featuring a red-eyed tree frog. I finished the woven background a while ago, and I’ve felted the body of the frog in my spare moments over the past few weeks. The frog’s skin should start appearing this week! That left the green yarn I needed for the fern leaves, which meant a dip in my big dye pots. I did some experimenting with overdyeing some wool and wool blend yarns and the final colors were very interesting. The wool showed a lot of variegation, which is just what I was looking for to create plant tissues. Plant leaves normally have a lot of depth and variation of color that often goes unnoticed until you look carefully. To create the fern leaves I wrap brass flashing with the just-right green yarn I dyed, and the flashing came from one of my secret supply stores in Michigan. I’ve got a big salad-sized bowl full of leaflets wrapped and ready to attach to the spine of the fern frond.

The end of the summer art fair seasons means that it’s time to restock my card inventories. I even ran out of card five-packs during the Fourth Street show, which shows how depleted I was. I’ve been traipsing back and forth between the printer (to get the cards) and home (to score and pack the cards) and my local venues to get them restocked. It’s been fun to catch up with friends at places such as Wonderlab, By Hand Gallery and Bloomingfoods when I bring in fresh cards. It’s also nice to get the checks in the mail when the cards sell! It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling when people buy the cards to share or frame them, especially when they’re familiar with the art pieces they’re based on.

As summer fades and the heat yields to cooler temperatures, it’s time to start thinking about fall traditions. My newest ‘tradition’ is wet-felting merino wool scarves, and I have to get busy on that front. Happily, I’ve been accepted into the Krasl Holly Market (in St. Joseph, MI) this November to show my scarves. I want to send about a dozen pieces, and I want to test out some new design ideas. Rather than having solid or lattice scarves, which was my starting point, I want to experiment with connected ring designs. It may not be a surprise, but I want to incorporate some more dimensional aspects into the designs, such as leaves dangling from the scarves. I also want to work with some more earthy tones, bringing in more browns and golds. I think I’m channeling the drying and fading plants in the garden after a long, hot, dry summer. The cooler air just makes me want to switch from bright greens to Midwest autumn browns. It’s also time to abandon summer-fresh bruschetta and start thinking about chopping up vegetables for fall soups! There’s always something to look forward to, isn’t there!

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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