Tuesday, June 29, 2010

i'm off, for a while

I'm going to Wales tomorrow to participate in this
meet friends, play the ney and zarb for Ben Haggarty's telling of the epic of Gilgamesh, tell stories, hear lots of stories, meet up with plant and stone acquaintances
be back in about a week

Saturday, June 26, 2010


the camera inertprets colours.
the green skein in the bottom picture is cotton for lace(?) dmc no 60, dyed in a mix of various rhamnus berry dyebaths, simmered and left in the sun, where they fermented happily and smellily, in the company of a small piece of rusty iron.
the same skein, in the picture above it, with stronger light from the sun. maybe it it foretelling poor lightfastness.
the same skein in the top picture, lower right looks beige (!) in the company of indigo blues, which in their turn look quite washed out and grey......
on my monitor, the last foto is truer, and the little skein is eucalyptus.
the beginning colour of the cotton is ecru
I'm getting more cotton to leave in the pomegranate and madder

Friday, June 25, 2010

sea and sky

we went to the sea today, there was no one swimming, too cold. End of June, in Greece! I stitched some, and took photos. Telemaco went in the water, I put a jacket on..
all colours (on the cloths and threads) are from plants, with some help from rusty nails and little bacteria, except for the heart- I haven't gotten round to dyeing threads with madder yet
artificial light in the top two pictures, the beach scenes are from the cellphone

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


once upon a time there was a hunter

the beginning of a new illustrated storycloth

I am experimenting with indigo
and I keep reminding myself, just to give me courage, of the trials of learning how to make bread from books
It took me about a year to get the hang of it, and quite a few bricks were produced in the meantime
so maybe the lesson I learnt then was patience and to keep going
fermentation is so much like a blessing, when you finally get it
and it always seems to be a little outside of you
you can't really control it, just try to provide the right environment
like parenting, or art
and lots of prayers to the weather gods
oh yes and preparation

the corner you see there is Helen Melvin's the colours of sea and sky, a great companion on this path. thanks, Helen

Thursday, June 10, 2010

fun and work

we went to the sea, and washed two sacks of fleeces. They were incredibly dirty. abeetle came to investigate, some horseflies too, ugly bites, those.
and I made a pincushion- I need it, with all the sewing I've been doing!
and a snake left me a gift.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

sky, wind, meetings with remarkable men,

when I was young, I played the darbukka for a saz player
heard koroglu at dawn, with the light shining through leaves
took ney lessons in istanbul from the gentle arif
met and had the honour to listen to Djamchid Chemirani teach
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here with his beautiful sons
and bathe in his smile
now I am at last tapping the same deep well, the ashik spirit, the dervish soul
as a woman,
it is there, deep, quiet, breathing, singing,beating, shining in the sky, in the dark of night

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a poem

...es sind/ noch Lieder zu singen jenseits/ der Menschen
-Paul Celan

In the threadbare
air, through the tattered
weave of leaves,
the blue light cools
into ash black shadow

Tree: the high
thought roots itself
in the luminous clay
of the caught light's closeness
to audibility

So we know that again
today, there are songs
still to be sung. they
exist. Just on the other
side of mankind.

from Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music

by Robert Bringhurst

philemon and baucis

the treecloth I've been making for jude hill's cloth to cloth online workshop, backsidetrunk and beginning of roots, up close
all components secured, cloth washed. All fabrics have been dyed by plants from this area. After I washed it I saw the face on the trunk, but the embellishing will come later. It has been so satisfying to make, and magical, really. It is full of stories. I see the olive tree of this land, after the fire, is she praying, or is she dancing? I think a beetle will keep her company, a little lizard and a scops owl,

this is the olive tree which lives next to the houseand this was a fragrant home for a family
today we sre going to the sea to wash the fleeces

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


a mood
todays mood
there are clouds in the sky
warm breeze
and I listen to the weaving going on between the guitar and bass
the quality of the sound is like the pictures in the video
slightly out of focus
as if silk gauze has been stitched over it
a new cloth is soaking in soyamilk
summer and change are here

this new cloth is not going to be like the previous one
no pictorial representation, just leaves and shadows, a dreamscape for a story
this will be painted on, scrolling with a light behind it
when it makes me some money I'll do it again with linen and leafprints

with new project I have to get a "proper"one out of my system,
and then I can go wild so now that I have a "proper"storycloth, with pictures in boxes, now I can do the singing one. the chanting one is waiting for its turn
the blank canvas moment is my favourite
lets see what story will be born of this mood
grace set the mood this morning with the story. thank you grace
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