Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ratatouille is the first to leave the sinking ship

I began this week reveling in the late stages of completing my major art pieces, "Summer Harvest" and "Ratatouille." My photographer, Tom Bertolacini, came over to take photographs for my portfolio. He sets up all his fancy lights and gets out his fancy camera and takes some really nice pictures. Even better, though, is the fact that I brought the pieces upstairs when he was done! That’s important because two major storms passed through Bloomington on Friday. The second one woke us up around midnight when the tornado sirens went off. We trundled two sleepy boys into the basement studio, with blankets and pillows, and they lay down there. Fortunately, we got to see the window well filled up with water and watch the water start to pour in. By that time the tornado sirens were off and Jim ran out to scoop water out of the well. Then he used the push broom to sweep water out of the veranda and direct it into Celerin Pond which drains into Drummond Creek. That kept a lot of water out of the house, but enough came in to the storage room that I had to jump into defense mode. I cleared the wall storage units and rolled up the carpets in my art studio to let everything dry out. Nothing was damaged, but it kept us up until 3:30. Saturday we did a little drainage remodeling around the veranda and resolved to remove the stone patio that channels the water toward the house. Ah, spring in Indiana—I love it! I just love some parts more than others. A post script here—I could do without the ant invasions too.

This week I began weaving away on my BPP (Bloomington Playwrights Project) commission piece. The structural challenge was incorporating one key aspect of their logo, which is the “turning pages” at the bottom right hand corner on all their promotional stuff. Chad asked if I could somehow incorporate that feature into the piece. I imagined a strategy that I thought might work, but this week I did the experiment. Basically I wove three weavings, and into each of the first wefts I incorporated some used baling wire wrapped with yarn which also continued up the right side of the weaving. I then wove the rest of the weaving. I was able to create a tiered set of weavings and stretched them out on the frame. I snipped away the support strings on the corners and molded the wires outward to create the turning pages. During my travels I’ve been poking at the BPP logo letters. I’ve enjoyed working on crisp edges that don’t have the organic feel that my felted vegetables had. While I like doing natural things, the freshness of doing something new is welcome. To make the letters I used an old wool army blanket that belonged to Jim’s father. I cut six layers out for each letter and stitched them together. I needle felted my tumeric-dyed fleece on top of the blanket letters. Because I want to the letters appear to be suspended in front of the weaving I also incorporated baling wire into the back of the letters to create the look of floating letters. Overall, I feel really good about the progress I made on the piece, and next week I’ll should launch on to the cursive text of their logo, ‘Where theatre is born’. The piece will feature a hand holding a pen, which I’ve already completed and think it looks really good.

I’m sure I did other things this week—I’m a little short on sleep, which doesn’t help my memory. I do remember lunch with my sweetie this Thursday at Malibu Grill. I had the farmed perch from Bell’s in Muncie Indiana, which were really tasty. I had no idea that there were perch in Indiana—I’ve only enjoyed the perch from the great lakes. Jim made kluski for dinner last night, and it was especially good. Even so, after all the wetness and woe I had this week you’d think I might deserve another pie! My friend Wendy got one…but I think that she made that one herself...

Until next week…

Martina Celerin

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