Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
and of course a dyeplant hunting excursion for me. see the cotinus coggyria (smoke tree) lower left in the above foto
these are wild pistachio galls, source of tannins and yellow dye which is very lightfast, according to D. Cardon. The bushes are full of them.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
After rolling and squishing and wetting and soaping and then hitting and really rubbing hard and dancing with the felt I had a cylinder, closed on one end. And it stayed on the kitchen table all night long with no identity, just possibilities. I wasn't making a bag, just a nuno sample. Next day, the boys were asking what it is. I told them it is a hat and wore it on my head. they laughed. but it did look good, and I saw it could take many shapes with blocking. As I was playing around with form, I saw that it would make a nice pouch. so I made cords, using the black wool and some merino roving dyed the same as the prefelt I had used for the inside, and because it was looking good and I was enjoying the rolling, I made a second one, long, soft and coarse at the same time. I cut holes near the top of the bag, rubbed them well, the felt hardened more there- I think with manual felting there is always the possibility to felt some more-, I passed one of the cords through the holes. Now I had to attach it to the lower corner. I made a small palm-felt, hard and strong, and opened holes - two widely spaced and two closer together. passing the cords through that, I saw that it is good for pushing against the rim of the bag to keep the cords tight to close the opening- like the pieces of wood with two holes that keep the tent strings taut- so I kept that for a closing mechanism and made another one for the bottom end. I passed the cords through the second one, made a nice flattish knot. Then I put some wool behind it, stitched a few holding stitches with wool yarn and rubbed it until it was fused with the body of the bag. I liked the second cord too much not to use it, so I wove it around the first one around the rim of the bag. It is now my handbag.
this one began as an exploration of karagouniko (my native fleecewool)on linen. I did measure it to make a wallet for the packet of rolling tobacco, the measuring worked- I allowed for it to be half the size when finished. it is harder than I would want for wearing, but fine for a bag or slippers.the breakthrough on this one is how much I enjoyed stitching. I couldn't stop- it still needs a bobble or something to keep it closed, but I like it. the yarn is wool from the same kind of sheep, sold as rug yarn - i bought it some time ago.
I'm enjoying the embellishment, stitching, sewing sooooooo much I don't believe it. I was the worst pupil in "home economics" when it came to stitching I managed to nearly fail this unfailable course in high school
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
rose leaf bundled cotton washed after curing for a couple of months. I want to do this with felt.
the same next to a compost dyed cotton scarf. I love the khaki colour my compost gives, i wash it out very very well, and I wear the scarves. there is no unpleasant smell, the colours are washfast, I sometimes put them in the washing machine on purpose or by mistake, the colours from the compost have not changed. it is my "dye"compost, I throw plant matter and remnants of dyepots in a metal barrel that is beginning to rust.
these are my summer experiments with bundling fabric with plants from around here and scrap metal. these are cotton and linen, cured for at least a month and rinsed after. I washed with olive oil soap, and there was very little colour in the water, and the fading was untraceable in the fabric. The washing did soften the contours of the prints, a pleasing result. these fabrics were premordanted with ash water (uncalibrated) and either yoghurt or soy milk with repeated dippings and dryings. It makes a huge difference to the fastness and brightness of the colours.
bundle print on linen, eucalypt bark tie-dye with elastic bands (smells lovely)cotton
and, yes, I worked for a day picking grapes. Back- breaking work, hot and dirty, but holding the bunch of grapes in my hand, the juices running along my arm... mmm I was dead tired after the first hour, but went on for six more. lunch was under an oak tree, the best tasting cheese and olives I've ever had. And yes, there were galls in that tree- I'm going to pick them one of these days.
the bunches of grapes weigh more than a kilo- bountiful little wizened shrubs
the knife they gave me had a lizard on it
and I got to take some grapes home. Luka is being very good- she knows they're there.. the fleece is the one I washed at home, it got quite felted with the repeated rinsing, and I used an awful lot of water- The sea every time from now on for the first cleaning, I'll only rinse the salt out at home with the fresh water because it makes them harsh to the touch.
I'm off to Marathon now, to check the post. Please take a look at attikasos
(click on the word)later today for updates on arrivals for our fundraising project for reforestation after the fires.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Silks- bundled with plant matter. silk is so expensive- cant really experiment all I like. It is so beautiful, whatever you do to it.
Friday, September 18, 2009
so what is this creature of the night telling me?
It doesn't see very well, but it hears
so listen, listen he says
listen to what?
dark winged night creature tell me should I listen to my dreams? what I see when i don't see- the winged nightflight of my soul
give me your ears to hear what my eyes can't make out in the dark
he hangs upside down, like odin, who gave his eye for wisdom -the seeing, the seeing
like a baby in the womb getting ready for rebirth
like inanna's skin on the hook
time to die he says to be born again
let go he says
hang upside down he says for a moment or a while
in the dark
I do not hate black any more, it is all around me , I cannot live in hate, only regeneration can follow black
it has rained. alot and hard
the soil was pouring down the road to the sea
the sea was blackened. I couldn't help wondering what all this ash-water might be doing to the soil and to the sea people
there is a carpet of little two leaved miracles on the earth
weeds for dyeing
but even the oak begins as a two leaved sprout
we shall see what will sprout out of this earth
Saturday, September 5, 2009
i don't know anything about them
but they reminded me of rosa - rosa balistreri
and then I remembered this lady singing for mother earth
thats me with my drum with maria laffite, efren lopez on the hurdy gurdy and many more musicians at the music village on pelion mountain, 2 years ago
maria, rosa, lal
Friday, September 4, 2009
kermes oak just dissapears
this is grammatiko village, the photo is taken from Varnavas village- everything is burnt, right down to the sea. I still haven't mustered the courage to go to the area to the left in the picture, behind the village to the sea- where the forest used to beDuring my madder hunting excursions I learnt a lot about the habitat of kermes oaks, because madder loves growing between its roots, making it very difficult to dig up the madderroot. Kermes oaks are short bushes. the goats like to eat their leaves when they are young, so the branches become thick and gnarled, something like a natural bonsai. when they are allowed to grow naturally they get tangled and make a low canopy, like a hut for other plants and animals. I've seen ratholes and snakes, and also larger holes, homes for foxes, and weasels. The animals are especially protected because the oakleaves are small, tough and and thorny -very scratchy making entry impossible for larger animals, including man (and madderhunting woman).
Thursday, August 27, 2009
but it does happen. again and again. And Greece is a very dry country, it takes decades for a forest to regenerate and mature..more often than not fire takes its toll before the forest has re established itself making the loss irrevocable.
that is why reforestation and the care of the forest in the future is the best way to undo some of the damage
also the education of our children whose legacy is beying destroyed to respect and care for nature and themselves
suddenly my little "stash" of seeds, leaves, flowers from dyeplants has become precious, invaluable.
they can be turned into seeds of knowledge and experience, a legacy for the future
this land has a terrible need of good, to undo the bad
That is why we have begun a new project called art for trees, it is a call of help to artists and craftspeople all over the world
we are asking for donations in the form of works of art that can be sold to provide funds for reforestation in a responsible way
I have started a new blog, attika sos in english and greek to host information about the project hoping that it may work as a forum for ideas, information and experience regarding these matters
there you will find information about the organisation the will act as host for the proposed events, and you can follow the progress of the action
I'm hoping that a visit will inspire donations- please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested
any ideas- thoughts- experiences are more than welcome, please do not hesitate to post comments -they are very helpful
also I welcome any thoughts about the connection between fiber and textile arts and environmental awareness - I will post all relevant texts, with authors permission, and translate them into greek
every gesture helps, every phrase, comment, experience, thought, idea, is more than welcome. at this moment i feel it is of vital importance.
i will keep this blog as a more personal account of my dyeing, felting journey
jasmine has been the moving power for the undertaking of this project, please visit her blog by clicking on her name to see the rug she is making for us
thank you all
Monday, August 24, 2009
I'm ok, the dogs ok and the house is ok, the boys are in Spain
everything else is black and burning
around here there is not much left for the fire to burn, but there are a couple of places where they can't control the fire, tall pine trees etc so the planes are flying over all the time
the fire has gone south towards Athens
what I really want to say is that it is wonderful to find your comments and support they made a good "place" so thank you all very very much for your concern, I will thank everyone personally when this is over
oh the olive tree you see in other posts is full of birds- we are a little green pocket
it is so sad
Saturday, August 22, 2009
on the hill where the landfill is going to be. pines, juniper, wild pistachio, innumerable flowers, kermes oaks, olivetrees, almond trees, sheep, goats,
the morning will show
there are 60 firefighters 2o fireengines the police won't let us near
I've spent nights up there watching out for fires
all alone with trees and stones, from sunset till dawn
it is a place where I have been made welcome by the trees and stones
I have listened to their tales
two years not a flame
this year they wouldn't let us look out for fires because of the landfill works
the riot police were up there, busloads,
the undercover "safety"police were there, carloads
and the firemen were there
and tonight the fire is there doing its work while the firemen protect the landfill landscape machinery
and the trees are burning
the animals are running
isaw foxes outside my house and birds flying at 3 oclock in the morning
it is snowing ashes
and the village is dancing. really. it is the summer dance-ball? of the football team, there is an orchestra playing in the square,
i smell smoke
I hear music
waiting for dawn when the planes can rise the sun will light the black of this nights work
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
softly and with humility I tread on this earth
here she is, the crone, softly singing, leaving an everlasting mark on the souls of the listeners.
I was in Arcadia-literal - real arcadia, a sea of mountains and trees in the heart of the Peloponnese
we told stories in the forest, sang songs in the taverns
a workshop in the woods: we tied leaves and twigs and flowers collected from the ground with coloured yarn, spinning storywebs, and hung them on the trees. a twig for the prince, a flower for the third daughter, bark for the crone, the witch. a sickle shaped dead branch for Charon, death himself.
then we beat drums and told the story of inanna's descent, the fox, naming the world
now we have gone, leaving the lightest of footprints, carrying our fugitive marks inside of us. the forest is there dancing its skyward dance.
one day it will be gone too, dust or charcoal, who knows
why do we make so much effort to find "fast" dyes and colours-an illusion of eternity, false as false can be when a moment of true beauty can last forever, there, where it counts, in our souls.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
more colours. solar dyed, no mordant, uncarded rinsed wool. no detergent. I let the fleece dry without rinsing, these have been washed with olive soap, to see what will happen when I felt them. the colours did not change. I think that this method of dyeing is good for felt because of the lack of ph modifiers
they never stand still long enough
I went to a concert of his, I was 16, first time concert! while he was playing this song, the lights went out, electricity down, total darkness and silence, then the police fell upon us with tear gas and clubs. I climbed over a wire fence in a split second. running away, the people from the houses around hosed us down with water and threw us lemons for the tear gas. that tear gas then (1981, yes, aeons ago, when I was 16) was nothing compared to what they use now. I'm off- the president of our community sent a message calling everyone to the community centre of the village- it is 11 30 at night, it seems the company is coming to make the landfill which will bring tons of trash from athens to one of the most beautiful spots left in attica.