Sunday, October 2, 2016

Making mini Martinas…

I’m wearing three hats this week!  The first is my needle felting hat.  I had so much fun last fall creating the needle felted vegetable and fruit collage pieces that I decided to scale down to make individual felted pieces.  Each fruit and vegetable really is its own mini artwork full of visual information, detail and interest.  Some are symmetrical, others are not, and often the subject brings vibrant colors.  I’m now thinking about my fruits and vegetables as small tiles that can be combined for display.   
The project fits with my fall life because Saturday mornings revolve around trips to the farmer’s market—yesterday was a three-bag haul, with lettuce, apples, garlic, peppers and more.  There is such a bounty of the harvest on display in rich, warm fall colors.  The vegetable haul mirrors the social experience, seeing lots of friends and regulars.  Marina at Le Petit CafĂ© becomes a regular fall connection with special hot chocolate and coffees for the family, and Maria from Piccoli Dolci often provides a special treat.  The man who sells us jam and jellies knows that our teenage boys eat through whatever we buy (and hence will be back).  The farmer who saved a huge bag of onion skins for me thought I was a little crazy, but they proved to be the perfect source for the dye to create an accurate onion skin color.  The whole Saturday morning adventure just fits so well with my art. 

My second hat is a wet felting hat. Not that I’m felting hats!  I had a fabulous experience a couple of weeks ago in Fredericksburg, starting with a workshop by Pamela MacGregor and continuing with Elizabeth Woodford, that started me thinking about wet felting vessels.  I’m now playing with different fibers and experimenting with new techniques.  I really want to be able to create textures and then embed objects into my vessels, much like my weavings where I create underground scenes. That way you’re encasing memories and stories in the vessels.  At this point, though, I need to sort out the techniques first.  That’s about the time when my science background kicks in.  I started by creating flat felt circles and embedded various yarns (synthetics, wools, sisal and felt balls).  I learned a lot from my first piece and launched into creating a few simple vessels.

My third hat is maintaining and tweaking costumes for Pippin costumes and props.  The big performance at Bloomington High School South starting October 15th and running for two more weeks on Saturday nights.  You can order tickets here. The costumes themselves are finished, but those darn kids keep growing!  Final adjustments are in order so the costumes fit perfectly on the night of the performance.  Watching the rehearsals over the summer has been revealing, because socks slowly appear as legs grow longer while the pants do not.  Come see Tommie, who is Charlemagne in the first two performances (October 15 and 22), while Jacob is a magician in all of the shows.  I’m looking forward to seeing the visual spectacle as my art pieces dance around the stage!  Oh, and I’ve heard that the kids might sing too :)

The big news in my workshop world is that I'll be doing another workshop - next month - in Crawfordsville, IN.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the event organizer, Jessica Madsen at  It will be a one day workshop on Saturday November 12, from 9:30am - 5:50pm.

 And on the family front, we’ve been taking in some theater of late. Last Friday we saw BPP’s ‘30 Days of Mourning’ that featured Steve Scott (aka the boy’s taekwondo instructor) Paul Kuhne (an amazing actor and friend) and Aubrey Seader (a fabulous actress and Sounds of South alumna).  It was amazing!  The interactions were believable, intense, and powerful.  The actors embraced the roles such that you were immersed in the situation and rooting for the characters.  On Friday night we saw Cardinal’s performance of Baskerville.  What a fun production!  The staging was phenomenal.  They brought the Hound to life, even if it didn’t end well for the sheep in the performance or the spectral hound who attacked the Baskerville clan.  The pacing was fast and the costume changes constant, which made for a very entertaining evening.  I love having two such strong theater companies in our town.  As I started to write this on Saturday, I wasn’t sure there was going to be a pie for the report.  Fortunately, Jim found some gold rush apples at the farmer’s market.  He got up early to make a pie this morning!  It looks great, but I won’t know for sure until dinner tonight.  I’ll provide a report when I can.

Until next week

Martina Celerin


  1. Love the mini fruits and veg!! They should fly! The vessels are wonderful!! After this week I am going back to the vessels with carving and embelishments!! Need to chat with you about resist placement on the vessel. Did you wrap parts of resist around layout "edge" to avoid a cracked mud seam?

    1. Thanks!! I didn't on the cracked mud, because I only did one side, but I did on the vertical slits. I held them down with coins until I got a layer of wetted merino on top and then carefully pulled the coins out before I put the second layer on the side.