I had a good day at the art fair — Art at St. Kate’s. Before the gates opened, I captured a few views of my booth. One of my customers commissioned a rabbit runner for her meditation room! It will hang on her wall, with all the rabbits ears up (as runners, they change direction in the middle). I will have it ready for the next show (Loring Park Art Festival in Minneapolis). The most interesting comments came from people who are frustrated with the rabbits in their gardens!
It’s July in Minnesota. The day started out hot and humid, and ended with two thunderstorms. A great adventure!
My grandmother’s voice has been in my mind this week because I have been sitting at the sewing machine almost every day. She was a constant, loving presence in my childhood and may be the reason I continue to work with cloth. Here she is (wearing her favorite color) at her 90th birthday party in 1983, waving off the camera.
She – we called her Nanny – was from a big farm family with German/Luxembourg roots that settled in Kandiohi County in western Minnesota (flat, glacial lakes, rich black soil.). (Interesting fact: kandiohi is from the Lakota language meaning “where-the-buffalo-fish-come.” After that lots of Germans, Irish, Swedes and Norwegians came.) She had an 8th grade education and after that went to dressmaking school. Her sister, my great-aunt Mary, also handy with the sewing machine, made her amazing wedding dress. She married my grandpa (“Pop”) in 1917.
I can evoke her presence when I call to mind her kind voice and her hands. During overnight visits, she would set me up with little sewing tasks, worked on mostly by hand, but sometimes using the old cast iron Singer with the knee pedal. There were bound buttonholes, pot holders, doll clothes. (My sisters developed great sewing skills making doll clothes.) I learned about finger-pressing – it works really well on linen!
While preparing my stencil-dyed cloth for a soak in the tub this a.m., I noticed this frosty vision of the back yard.
The fabric has been curing for about a week, hanging from the ceiling near a radiator. The backside shows the raised texture created by contrast between the dried rice paste resist and the dyed areas.
The work soaks in the tub for awhile to dissolve the rice paste resist. Now it is hanging to dry.