Saturday, March 26, 2016

Growing My Roots…

My attention this week has been on my latest weaving project called ‘My Roots.’  The green background gradient is finished, and I was very excited this morning to get out my trowel and plant all my felted root vegetables onto their new home.  I love how they look together, and I’m relishing the little radishes I created this week.  I needle felted the red body and wet felted some white merino top into very thin, tapering tubes for the tap roots.  To the surprise and concern of my husband, I duct taped a bamboo sushi mat to the kitchen counter to support the project.  The bamboo reeds of the mat give me the roughness to create the agitation I need to make a thin, felted surface skin on the fleece that looks wonderful as a radish tap root. 

When I saw my piece laid out, I realized I still need to put on my farmer’s hat and grow a few more vegetables to fill in the last little gap in the piece.  
 I’ll probably make some turnips, which I’ve been fascinated with since I saw a big winter crop grown for ground cover at my friend Cinny’s house at her birthday party.  I just love that little dab of purple color in the ring around the top of the white root.  With most of the foliage gone from the cold weather they are probably producing the anthocyanin pigment to protect that precious carbohydrate rich tuber.  It just makes me want to pull out my slow cooker!  The purple makes me feel happy, though, because it reminds me of fond memories of a walk with Dawn Adams when she introduced me to the turnip field.  That was back when IU was playing basketball.  Sorry for the tangent, but if you don’t know, the Indiana men’s team lost in the Sweet Sixteen last night to end a great season of basketball. 

This time of year I’m usually trying to juggle preparations for all of my project responsibilities that won’t come to fruition until the summer or fall.  One of them is a workshop I’ll do at the Artful Dimensions gallery in Fredericksburg, Virginia in early June.  I have now completed the fifteen looms and a set of shuttles we’ll use, which is a fulfilling milestone.  In my artwork I love to use reclaimed and recycled materials, which is a philosophy I try to extend to other arenas in my life.  This week I repurposed some yardsticks into three footstick shuttles.  I use a drum sander attachment on my drill press, which is my favorite power tool.  My family gave it to me years go for Mother’s day.  Second to pie, that’s a pretty special gift!  I also picked up a broken blind with wooden slats that will also find their true purpose after sanding into weaving batons.  As the weather gets warmer I’m looking forward to sitting outside and creating a little sawdust on the back porch instead of downstairs.  That’s my version of plein air art. 

Of course the boys are involved in lots of activities that keep me running.  Jacob has been doing hip hop for about four years now and is a member of the dance troupe called the Jaywalkerz.  The group is now led by Tiffany Pham, and they have been working hard on a new routine which they will perform on April 1 with the Hip Hop ConnXion-Indiana at the Buskirk-Chumley.  The doors opens at 7, show starts at 8, purchase tickets online at: and come see it if you’re in town!  Oh, and last week’s raspberry pie is gone.  It was especially appealing to the boys, so my breakfast pie didn’t last past Tuesday.  I can’t wait to see what kind will appear tomorrow—right Jim?

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

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