Thursday, 6 January 2011

Déjà vu

Knitted videotape for an upcoming installation

I've always loved books, ever since I was little -- I suspect that's one reason why I eventually got into writing them, designing them, and building them. Yes, that has included knitting them too!

And although I read a lot of fiction when I was a child, I probably haven't picked up a novel for, um, awhile -- in fact, I don't think I can remember one in the last few years.

Except for The Time Traveler's Wife, which I read when I returned from Ragdale, and mostly because its author, Audrey Niffenegger, was about to take over the studio I had spent my two weeks in. (I wish I had known that before I wrote in the studio book about what a wonderful time I had, so I could have sounded a little more high-falutin'.)

Friend's Studio
The two sets of French doors on the right belong to my workspace at Ragdale.

I knew that much of the book had been written at Ragdale, when Ms. Niffenegger (I can't bring myself to refer to her as "Audrey") was there on a residency (she's now on the board of directors), and quickly came to realize that large chunks of the book were set there too, from the description of the house and meadow of Claire's youth. It was a little creepy -- though in a good way, I guess -- to know those places somewhat more intimately than I know most novel settings, and is likely what held my interest throughout.

Well, that and the fact that there are numerous other Chicago locales mentioned as well, and having just been there, it was rather fun to be able to actually think "wow, I walked along that strip of lakefront" from time to time.

This one is mentioned in the book and is in the movie as well.

While I did enjoy the scenes that were shot in Chicago -- although much of it was shot in Toronto, of all places -- my favourites were those set at the Newberry Library, where I had spent part of an afternoon the day I left Ragdale, and the papermaking ones, as I had made paper the day I arrived in Chicago, with my friend Melissa Jay Craig, whom Ms. Niffenegger thanks in her acknowledgement.

And now I've been bit by the papermaking bug too!

Once we get spring, I'll get a chance to put a number of coats of polyurethane on these, and then decide if I want to make western or Japanese paper. But until then, that phase of creativity is on hold for awhile....
Suspended animation

I wanted to get a post up during the holiday season, but it was just crazy around here. Hope everyone had a fine party, whatever celebration you chose!
My first computer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Books for Sale

The shop is currently empty.