Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Only two weeks till Fourth Street!

My artistic trajectory has been a mad dash to complete a set of new pieces for the Fourth Street Festival on Labor Day weekend. I had the good fortune to sell a lot of my big pieces at the Madison show, but that meant my booth was pretty empty. This week I brought three new pieces close to completion.

One piece that I’m really excited about is my ‘Meet me by the Willow’ piece. I was channeling all the great bike trips the boys and I had this summer. I just had a great time discovering how to make a bicycle out of yarn, thread, wire and shoelaces. For the ‘Willow’ piece I created the bike wheels and frame out of used baling wire. At the last Spinners and Weaver’s Guild auction I bought some shiny silvery string that’s a little hard to describe. I wrapped it around the inside of the spokes and gears to get the metallic look I wanted. For the rubber tires I used some puffy black shoelaces, washed of course, that turned out to be perfect. The bike seat and pedals needed to be comfy, so I needle felted those into existence out of soft fleece. I’m just delighted with how the bike turned out!

My ‘Willow’ piece also needed some green, flexible hanging branches. I began with the tree trunk I made on the trip back from Michigan and felted branch extensions onto the main trunk to support the green hanging shoots. I made use of some thin wire from a recycled spiral notebook to make the actual branches, then added some raggy looking green chenille that was perfect for the hanging branches. I just wrapped and felted everything until I was happy with it. When I added the bike it looks like a beautiful miniature scene. I even angled the front bike wheel forward a little, because when you lean your bike against something it never lays perfectly flat. I also like the feel of the piece because it tells a story. It makes you wonder about where the rider is and whom she’s talking to. To me it’s like opening a book in the middle of the chapter to read a passage without knowing what comes before or after.

If that weren’t enough, still more art is racing toward completion in my studio. The lemon piece was officially declared finished this week. While watching the boys do Taekwondo I’ve been needle felting pea pods. I have the set I need finished, so I’ll be attaching pieces this week to the now-completed completed pea plant. I’m hoping I can finish the projects in time to have my photographer, Tom Bertolacini, come to town nearer the weekend to take pictures of everything for my portfolio. It always bugs me when I sell a piece before I have it photographed, and I now have a bunch of pieces ready to go into the booth so I have to get cracking.

With so much art happening I have to think a little about what went on with my family this week. Friday will be the big Taekwondo test when the boys test for their brown belt. Then Jim (and others) will officially have to address them as ‘sir’ when they’re on the floor, something they’re excited about. I’m really proud of the years of work they’ve put in to reach this point, and I’m pleased they’re still going strong with TKD and sparring. We did also get to the farmer’s market on Saturday as a family. I put ten pounds of tomatoes in the freezer for wintertime sauces and cooking projects. We got fresh corn and a watermelon. Best of all, we got a big basket of peaches and I got—you guessed it—a peach pie! Yummm! Now that the boys like pie I don’t get as much, but I think I’ll manage at least one more breakfast pie with espresso.

Life is good, if busy!

Until next week…

Martina Celerin


  1. So the bike is round and doesn't act like a roadblock. Cool. Wonder what else you could sneak in there like that.

  2. Thanks, Sonia - and yes, I think that the bike works because of it's shape - but I think that a bench might feel more like a visual fence unless it really was on a sharp angle. Also, maybe one of those old wood farm fences (that have just the two rails) might work because it wouldn't feel like the art is being constrained by the fence