I have been working full-on to complete my commission piece, punctuated with a few ventures to Sounds of South to keep my costuming project moving forward. The weaving features an intricate garden scene. The background is now completed. It is a lush flower and vegetable garden full of vibrant colors and blooms. Now I’m working on finishing two songbirds for the weaving intended to be focal points. They are both warblers and beautiful songbirds, although that decision complicated the piece. The first warbler I finished is a cerulean warbler. Cerulean describes the beautiful blue color of the bird, which has a rich song to match. When I studied the warbler I learned that only the male sings. That’s perfect, I thought, so I named him Dan. The problem arose when I realized that I needed to find a female warbler with a beautiful voice too. My choice of a female Magnolia warbler, based on her colors and feather patterns, failed the biological accuracy test when it turned out she doesn’t sing. Only a few of the female warblers actually sing so my choices were limited. Curses! Shouldn’t all warblers sing? After an exhaustive image search I settled on a the stunning female yellow warbler.
Her coloration will bring a warm glow to the piece. In addition to the birds, I’m having a lot of fun with the composition because there are a lot of family heirlooms incorporated into the piece. I hope it is both aesthetically appealing and meaningful to the commissioners. I promise to post a picture of the finished piece after it appears in its new home.
On the costuming front, the Pippin costumes are moving along beautifully. Nancy Riggert and Alice Lindeman have been busy bees, especially for creating, assembling and painting the armor for the war scene. Did I mention that there seventy kids in the production? That means seventy chest plates, helmets and swords. I am incredibly grateful to them for their hard work while I was off wearing my art fair hat.
I designed the armor patterns, but Nancy and Alice and other parents traced and cut the chest plates out of reclaimed insulation foam and carpet under pad. The complementary shields are cut out of craft foam - leftovers from last year's production of Beauty and the Beast. The pieces are glued together and painted with silver paint. They also enhanced the shadows of the three dimensional armor features with black sharpie and added rivets that we created from the filters of Keurig coffee units. Thanks Dawn Adams for collecting and thanks Dale for drinking much of the coffee.
For some variety, we’re also using the grey caps from pharmaceutical bottles donated by Cook Pharmica to the Materials for the Arts program at the Recycle Center. Next week I’ll post a picture of the riveted variety, but for now just admire the shining armor! And the sword blades are done – seventy, cut from recycled corrugated plastic - thanks Bill!! If you want to see the final production in all its glory, Pippin will be presented on the final three Saturdays in October.
On the home front, Jacob is finally got to have his ‘friends’ birthday party yesterday. He invited fifteen of his closest teenager friends—OMG! Jim and I hid downstairs in the art studio until the pizza came. When it was finally quiet we come up to survey the damage—the house was still intact—and they were outside playing a marshmallow-throwing game – all good. I think my reward for going through the process of cleaning the house and preparing for the party should be a pie – just sayin’
Until next week, or sometime soon,