Saturday, February 13, 2010

There’s not much I can’t fix in my dye pot…

Except maybe the snow from this week, at least not until I get a bigger pot. The two snowstorms we had translated into two and a half school days off, with shrieking kids and pizza lunches taking up much of my days. Still, I managed to get a whole lot of art done. The big news from Andrea at Wonderlab is that the giant butterfly is officially finished. I don’t know where they got the extra wine corks, or when they painted them, but Andrea seemed quite happy. I can’t wait to stop by next week to see it! I guess I can arrange a ceremonious return of the corks back to the recycle center. I also took some steps ahead on my ‘Transplanted’ piece, weaving the dirt and the sky and stretching it out in the frame. I think the dirt ball is lovely, as only a gardener would, as is the hole in the earth. I still need to add the overgrown roots and the plant and flower, but the parts of the piece that I wasn’t sure about have come together nicely. If only I could remember where I left the trowel!

Last week I also launched a few other new projects. Beginnings are fun, because you never know how each project will turn out. And there is no Island of Misfit Toys in my world—anything that doesn’t work just goes back in the collection for the next piece. I began my next volunteer project, which is a mobile for the Edible Lotus event that will hang over one of the Edible Lotus tables. I intend to make a barren tree in the fog using my latest favorite material, depleted dryer sheets. That means I’m still collecting if you have any extras. When my husband wanted to know how that was going to look, I just gave him my most mysterious look and told him: “Be surprised”. He had just made me a nice dinner with pan-seared tuna and a spinach salad, so maybe I should have been a little more forthcoming, but I was enjoying the moment.

After a few days of snow, the week turned bright and sunny. We’re back into the deep freeze, but at least it’s going to warm up during the daytime and the days are getting longer. On Thursday it was clearly a day to dye yarn (don’t ask me how I know these things). I got out my very old Nilus leClerc metal swift, appropriately made in Quebec. It’s still totally functional, built from iron and as solid as the Banque du Canada, but it’s also a great antique. It came up for auction at the Spinners and Weaver’s guild annual event and I got into a bidding war over it. It was worth every penny I spent and it’s a treasure in my art studio. Anyway, I pulled out the yarns that King Moonracer couldn’t find a home for (the winged lion that rules the island of misfit toys).

I had some pale mossy greens that weren’t working for me, plus some grey-blues, sandy browns and multicolored greens that had a lot of grey in them that I didn’t appreciate. So out came my green and yellow dyes and now, 13 skeins later, I have a new collection of vibrant greens for my spring green projects. This includes a mint green project that must have been inspired by the crisp air (or maybe it’s just Girl Scout cookie time and the Thin Mints are here). I made the minty green background gradient for a piece that will feature salamanders, skinks and lizards, each featuring those unnaturally vibrant colors and beautiful patterns that tell predators: ‘try having me for lunch and you’ll be very sorry, buddy.’ I know because that’s how I dress sometimes. That also means that if you see me around town this week, at a meeting or waiting for my kids at their Tae Kwon Do class, you’ll probably see me poking away at some amphibians. Don’t be alarmed—no amphibians will be harmed, and it keeps me from starting still more new projects.

Until next week...

Martina Celerin

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