Monday, July 26, 2010

Bloomington in the Hot Summer

Summer in my town means many things. This week it means art camp for the boys at the John Waldron Arts Center. The place has been taken over by Ivy Tech, and the place is a beehive of artistic creation each weekday morning. There’s kind of a school year feel to the mornings at home—everybody has to get up, dressed, fed and have a snack basket put together. At the camp, the boys have had both teachers before. Both are well liked, so it’s a good experience all-around. Tommie started off making a bowl that expanded into a serving platter, so in a proud-mom-sort-of-way I’m looking forward to having another addition to our collection. On the down side, the morning weather approached steamy last week, with morning ‘lows’ in the eighties. But that doesn’t deter an artist! Down in my basement art studio it’s cool and comfortable, and I got three glorious hours to myself each morning to focus all my energies on weaving.

Did I say weaving? I’ve thrown every spare moment at making new art pieces. I started weaving a piece that was commissioned at the Columbus Arts Festival. A woman there liked my chameleon piece, but she preferred the red-eyed tree frog among fern fronds that I made and sold last year. I got to bring the chameleon home, although he found a new home in Madison... To make the fern leaflets, I got out my brass flashing and started cutting. I snipped out more than I’d care to count, but they sound nice and jingly when you pour them into a pile. I think the leaflets even look quite cute before they’re covered and assembled into ferns. They seemed a little naked, though, in comparison to the lush jungle setting of our backyard—it’s been so hot and wet that everything is overgrown. To cool off a little and reconnect with my Canadian roots, I also finished a piece I’ve been working on called, at least for now, “Four Birches by the Lake.” I think the heat wave has gotten me yearning for a cool northern lake to sit by. I really like the depth and sparkliness of the water that I was able to achieve. As for the name, we have a running family story, where when I finish a piece I often ask my family to help me name it. For example, when I made a piece with a single tree next and a lake, a very young Tommie wanted to call it “Lake by the Tree .” He’s a literalist when it comes to naming art, and the trend has continued.

The weekend routine has been a little disjointed, with Jim and Tommie going on a road trip to Lake Erie to do some fishing. Jacob and I spent some quality time together, and he even made me breakfast one day! He’s such a good fellow. We went to the Farmer’s market to supplement the container of blackberries that we got from the CSA. They’re juicy and tasty, and the berries would be WONDERFUL in a pie. Are you rested up yet, sweetie? We’ll see. While they were gone, Jacob also discovered a new art form called ‘Pixos!’ They’re tiny balls you arrange in a pattern and then mist with water. The surface liquefies and the pieces fuse with their neighbors. Given a little time, the pieces do harden and can’t be manipulated. Or perhaps more accurately, they don’t fall apart when you try to play with them too soon. This ‘waiting’ element in the process is a key factor that Jacob has slowly come to accept, although grudgingly. The pieces seem like they’ll make nice Christmas gifts and tree ornaments…watch out Grandma! The fishermen came home late last night, so completeness was restored and perch dinners are in our near future. Hmmm, I wonder how perch goes with blackberry pie?

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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