Thursday, October 29, 2009

I went to the woods to weave

Last Sunday I went to a social media "tweetup" with David Mathison aka @BeTheMedia. After lots of talk and a latte, Emma and I retreated to the woods to regroup. I needed time to think about the information and to consider the possibilities. We sat in the sun and I wove a wreath using Aspen leaves. (Maple leaves with all their beautiful colors work well in wreaths, but they dry out and become fragile much faster than the Aspen leaves.) A few days later I went back and collected a more leaves and created a spiral turning back on it's self. Here is a photo of the finished spiral.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Google Satellite Photo as Inspiration

This is an only-minimally-enhanced satellite photo. It represents about 1.3 miles of cultivated fields and rocky outcroppings out in Montana. The geometry and sense of open space for a New Englander, who is used to trees and construction, inspired awe. About the same time I looked at this, I learned about the plight of the wild mustangs and I fantasized about buying up canyon lands for them to roam free on. The basket "Protecting Wide Open Spaces" was inspired by these thoughts. Here is a postcard I am working on where I've combined this landscape with the basket.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fig Forms for the Fuller

While getting ready for the Westchester Craft Fair, I wove a basket whose inside interested me as much as the outside. The basket was woven using my "hairy" technique where short pieces of rattan are individually bent, then placed behind each spoke as I weave. In the above photo, each time a blue, orange, yellow, natural or chartreuse reed appears on the inside two short ends stick out on the outside. It's a time intensive process, but the blending of hairy pieces on the outside can be subtle and wonderful. Here though, I started thinking about what I could do with the surface of a basket if in effect, the basket were woven inside out, ie. if the hairy pieces pointed to the inside and the smooth surface you see above were on the outside. (For the commission, I have been concerned that an all-over hairy piece might not stand up as well as it should in the long run.)
In addition to having a less vulnerable outer surface, having all the ends on the inside would give me the ability to weave complex blocks of color without the usual problem of having to secure all the ends. I could either design a basket where the viewer could look into the basket and see all the texture OR ... focus on the complex color changes on the outside. Years ago I wove an open bowl with all the hairy on the inside, but the focus was still on the texture, not on the smooth color changes that occurred on the outside. I'm now interested in the smooth surface, on the outside.
The "figs" would be closed forms. People wouldn't be able to see inside. The bent hairy pieces would create a pattern on the outside. If these pieces were 3-4 feet, the added weight of all the inside hairy pieces would add to a sense of mass, which could help stablilize the two .... though, I might have to weave something heavy inside the basket ... these are all still just thoughts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


As I was working on my taxes a few days ago I had this book opened in front of me. It is from the exhibition, "Detour" at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. The theme of the book is places where travelers could stop along a particularly scenic route in Norway. The stops would be conceived of and built by prominent architects. The architects involved with this one in Lofoten were Snødalle As. When starting to put colors together for the next basket. I realized that I was being drawn to the cool neutral colors in this photograph, Also, instead of weaving a closed form, I've been enjoying the wide open central area of this space. Here are the bits of color I will be using.