Monday, May 14, 2012

Progress on Life’s Trail leads to: Rhubarb Pie!…

This week I wove like crazy!  I’m in the process of creating the woven base for a big commission, which is an evolution from my ‘After the Rain’ piece that features a path receding into a green forest canopy.  The title still isn’t finalized, but it’s going to be something like:  “Life’s Trail.”  The base incorporates a lot of background structure I’ll need to build from, so some of it looks finished while other parts are just the base.  I’ll use a dimensional crochet technique to bring the earthen trail forward, then I’ll attach features such as my tree trunks, leaf clumps in the canopy, and a few forest-floor objects scattered along the trail.  Something that’s new for me is the huge size for this kind of piece, which will be 50” by 35” in a portrait frame.  I’ve made some big pieces, but not where I’ve tried so ambitiously to create depth in a forest setting. 

As I was finishing weaving the background, I’ve also been crocheting leaf clumps in parallel.  I now have a nice collection that will extend the forest canopy forward.  The giant tree trunks are also a work in progress.  I’ve been carrying those around with me, mostly to the boy’s Taekwondo classes and Bryan Park while the boys play tennis.  They’re bigger structures than I usually work on in public, so they’ve been generating a lot of interest and speculation as to their identity.  They have been confused for elephant trunks, deer antlers, unicorn horns, a water buffalo horn, and an animal tail.  Don’t worry—I’m sure they’ll look much more tree-like when the branches are attached!  I’m hoping that will happen this coming week. 

The beautiful weather this week has allowed me to get a bunch of outside projects done.  The humidity was low enough earlier in the week that I was finally able to seal all the frames I stained last week.  Unfortunately, they sat outside for a week when Monroe County set a record for a high pollen count.  When I got back to them there was a thick layer of pollen on them.  That had to go before I could seal.  On the other hand, I got to spend quality time on the veranda looking into the back garden.  The flowers there are just amazing, with irises, peonies, allium and bleeding hearts all blooming.  It isn’t as well kept as the front garden, which is looking delightful as well.  I really wish that this week was the Bloomington Open Studios tour that will take place the first weekend in June.  The flowers in the walkway would be so great!  Jim has been digging, cutting, planting and making the whole location lovely. 

As I’ve been plowing ahead on my commission piece, I did sneak in one other project.  I completed the “Bike Race” piece I described last week.  It’s the one that came to me at about two thirty in the morning.  This week I introduced the weaving into the frame and fixed all the pieces at the depths I wanted and I’m calling it done.  I think I’m going to change the name, though.  At our neighborhood’s Second Saturday Soup gathering, Bob Flynn mentioned my Facebook post about a bike parade piece.  That struck me as a much nicer name, so now it’s “Bike Parade.”

 The week wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention my Mother’s Day.  I woke up to espresso, the newspaper and a bouquet of red roses dappled with fleabane sitting at my breakfast spot.  Jim was putting together the traditional rhubarb pie.  He was fretting a little about using the giant pie pan that Jan Arbogast made for us.   It takes almost three pounds of rhubarb to fill it (I say Hooray!!!).  I had the first pie installment with whipped cream after lunch.  Tommie and Jim had some as well, while Jacob settled for a small bowl of ice cream.  Each boy gave me a wonderful hand-made card.  What I really needed was to spend some quiet time weaving and working in my art studio.  Jim and the boys split wood and went to play tennis with a friend, so everything worked out perfectly!  It was a delightful day and week. 

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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