Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Rites of Spring

Mmmmm, maple syrup!

A favourite I used to participate in when I lived in suburban Washington, DC, was here in Cunningham Falls State Park: it's one of the few things I miss about living down there.

Bipolar weather, still

Meanwhile, our psychotic weather, like most of North America, continues: I was sitting outside in the sun this morning, combing dyed mohair locks for a spinning demo, wearing a sun hat for the first time this year, and almost got warm enough to want to shed my sweatshirt.

Twin-row comb

Of course, for the demo, it's supposed to snow. Again. Good thing it's not going to be outside....

There's some good karma in processing fibre outside in the spring: the process always results in cleaner fibre to spin because bits of trapped vegetation or dirt can easily fall out when you open up the locks.

Because it's being done outside, I don't worry much about cleaning up the plant stuff or the dirt, and any matted bits of fiber I remove can either be left for the birds to construct nests, or collected and used to line any potted plants that will need transplanting later on.

May 2013 Pilgrimage #8

And like so many other things that have been happening this spring, this too is a sign of returning normalcy in my life: it's been a long time since I've processed any fibre at all. Perhaps next month I might actually work on another few bags in my stash to feed my growing need to spin more yarns.

The photo above was taken up at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park not quite a year ago: when I was up there last Sunday, there was only brown grass and dirt in the exposed areas, and the trail was either muddy or snow-covered.

C'mon, Spring, I know you can do better than you have so far....

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Scary stuff

Drip Drip Drip #1

Besides the fact that this winter just seems to go on, and on, and on....

Mary Schmich's June 1, 1997 essay in the Chicago Tribune was turned into this rap by filmmaker Baz Luhrmann in 1999: one of the most frequent quotes taken from it is Do one thing that scares you every day.

Although I have friends who actually keep lists of things that scare them and try to pull something off it at least once a week, I've never been quite that organized: if something shows up in my life that makes my heart both sink and skip a beat at the same time, well, then I figure it's time to make that decision. (Or not, depending.)

Drip Drip Drip #4

When we were striking Falling Away (as detailed here), someone had to climb the big ladder to take it down. To be kind, heights and I are not exactly the best of friends, and I had not done the original install.

An HDR experiment

But now it had to be taken down, so without much thought, I climbed up, gently removing the piece from each of the three hooks (one at the top of each peak), and lowering it down to the ground. Once down, I laid it out the same way I had when we installed it, rolled it back up, and popped it into my stylish carrying case.

48 hours of art #2

It wasn't until after climbing back up the ladder to remove the hooks that it dawned on me that I hadn't been trembling in my shoes. I don't think I'll start looking for a window-washing gig anytime soon, but a week later, looking to pull down some icicles to incorporate into this installation, I once again climbed up to fetch some excellent ones without having my stomach doing somersaults.

Part of it must be the things we do for art, I guess, but I think there are other thoughts afoot as well

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Temporary Construction

Preliminary Installation Shot #1

It looks so innocent, sitting there on the concrete floor, weighing ten pounds maximum, and about the size of my backpacking sleeping bag. Innocuously transported in a green garbage bag on the bus down to the installation, I looked like a bag lady.

Preliminary Installation Shot #2

A position I'm familiar with now, with it stretched out on the floor the way it has been in the studio. That large white thing is a 25 mm crochet hook, holding the hanging loop for the longest knitting section.

Preliminary Installation Shot #4

Viewed from the +15 walkway in the building, it attracted a lot of attention once it was up and plugged in: sadly, it only lasted like this for a day.


I'm ready for my close-up: here's a detail photograph I took the day we took it down.

Official portrait

I like to think of this photograph, assembled from seven, full-sized pictures in a montage, then cropped and reduced in size to upload to Flickr, as the official portrait. Fingers crossed that it finds other opportunities for display soon.

And here are the details....

Falling Away
Manila and jute ropes and cording, copper wire mesh, low-voltage lights
3.8 m high x 46 cm wide x 23 cm deep

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