After a heavy focus on making costumes, this week I launched back into making pieces for the summer art fair circuit. Yesterday the thermometer reached seventy and the day was sunny. Eranthis, snowdrops and crocuses started flowering across the yard, filling it up with fresh colors. The weather seduced my mind with thoughts of summer, so off I went to make some summer birches by a stony lake shore. I picked up some florist wire remnants and have been wrapping them with yarn from alpacas that I buy at the summer farmer’s market.
My friend Cathy Crosson of RedRosa farm raises alpacas and sells a yarn, spun from a particular color of charcoal grey alpaca that work well for me. The wrapped wires contribute the narrow diameter branches of the birches, and I can bend them as I like to make natural tree pieces that hold their shape. I wove the background for the piece about a month ago, but other responsibilities prevented me from advancing the piece. I stretched out the weaving in one of the oak frames that Thom Bertolacini builds for me, so now I’m ready to build forward the background using a dimensional crochet technique. When everything is in place I’ll attach the birch trees and start listening for the waves splashing up on the rocky shore.
Friday marked a milestone in my other major focus, making circus costumes for the current Sounds of South members in the upcoming production of ‘Pippin’. I’ll share a few individual pictures, but I think the image I like best shows the two racks jam packed and bursting with purples, blues and greens. I even threw in some black, silver and white for good measure. That was a good stopping point for my costuming, which allowed me to go back to creating weavings. I’ll use the next month to focus on making art to travel to summer fairs.
I also need to develop pieces for a fall exhibit I’m working on titled ‘Treasures from the Earth’. In April I’ll go back to Bloomington South and making circus costumes after the freshmen class has been selected and measured. I’ll continue collecting used clothing in the color palette for the show until then to draw on for the new costumes.
Speaking of costumes, yesterday I delivered twelve mannequins (a big thank you to Deb Christiansen from IU!) to the Blue LineGallery. These will support my costumes from last fall’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ production.
The gallery will host a joint exhibit with a fashion designer that will take you behind the scenes a little bit. I’ll share my rough sketches for the costumes so people can see the thought process that connects the conception with costume building and leads to the final, wearable product. Jim Andrews is curating the exhibit so I’m looking forward to getting a list from him describing which characters he would like to include. I know he’s partial to the grater, the whisk and the potato mashers. Mark your calendars and come out on March 4th for the opening reception, although the show will be up for a couple of months.
In travel news, I’m packing for a workshop in Memphis,Tennessee next weekend. I do know that my three big boxes with fifteen looms and mountains of colorful yarn have arrived. That helps give me confidence that everything will go smoothly when I get there. I’m looking forward to the explosion of color when they come out. I just need to remember to pack my Swiss army knife in my suitcase and not my carry on when I travel!
I probably won’t be able to write a blog next weekend, but I should have lots of news and pictures when I write again on March 5th. On the home front, Jim surprised me with a cherry pie on Saturday morning. Hooray, my favorite! I think he knew that. We definitely need to pack more fresh farmer’s market cherries into the freezer for the cold months. I’m going to have to muddle through on blueberry and raspberry pies until May.
Until next week,