Another view of Symmetry

From my favorite perch watching sunset yesterday, the sun, streaming in from it’s low angle near the horizon, revealed a new view of my piece, Symmetry, which hangs on the wall next to my chair.

The shadows of the stitching and printed bird on the front layer are projected momentarily on the back layer. I love the intense and fleeting shadows this time of year and this time of day.


After sunset the front layer catches the light as it fades. It is hard to reproduce this on a gallery wall, or on a professionally done slide, but it’s what I most enjoy about this piece!


Spilled Milk and this Week’s Progress

Yesterday I forgot to screw the bottom of the blender on tightly so the soy milk spilled all over the table and floor (I walk away while it’s blending to save my ears). This gave me the perfect opportunity to try John Marshall’s “quickie method,” which involves grinding dry soy beans in a coffee grinder and then swishing and massaging the resulting flour around inside a damp cloth inside a bowl of water. I like the slow method better, which is actually faster (provided you remember to soak the soybeans overnight in the fridge).

Ready to dye
Ready to dye

The old lab cart works well because I can wheel it around my work as needed. The dry pigments are mixed in the soy milk, which is still a bit frothy from freshness. Pigments settle out, so with each application you need to stir them up a bit.

Today's dye work stretched out
Today's dye work stretched out

My basement studio has many obstacles I’ve managed to work around! Two vertical 6×6 posts stand in the center of the space about 10 feet apart. The boiler, chimney and water heater are between them. I’ve rigged two stretching areas, one from each post attaching to the concrete wall opposite via aluminum door handles. I added a carabiner (i.e. D-ring) to one of the handles, which allows me to move around more easily with a minimum of ducking and crouching. I can stretch approx. 2 1/2 yards of fabric on each side of the room.

Owl detail
Owl detail

Above is a close-up of my new owl design after curing and wash-out.

Symmetry / This Recurring Kindness

A work in response to a poet’s work on the theme of “Venus”.

 Symmetry. Multiple dyeing and printing processes on cotton and silk; hand stitched.
Symmetry. Multiple dyeing and printing processes on cotton and silk; hand stitched.

My piece, Symmetry (above), followed by the poem Tera Freese wrote in response. To read more about this project see my previous post.

This Recurring Kindness by Tera Freese

Every August it happens white blaze of afternoon ripens the fruit makes even the birds fat as queens.

Here they are now twittering and thrashing in the high sweet grasses, dark wings dusted with deep gold pollens throwing confetti of fireweed days of merriment and feasting.

Even in their tiny eyes – a bright exuberant health as in something that has come ’round again to meet it’s full potential.

These are the same mourning doves that eat dark oily seed from my pale palm after the curtain of Autumn has dropped.

Yes, even when there is not this bounty, there is still enough. For that which dwells in the first hung star is there, too, in the last to fade to morning’s tide.