Saturday, August 28, 2010

a time travelling machine, the resourceful dyer and some perks of life in Warsaw

this is a time travelling machine. an old coffeepot which used to brew my coffee many many years ago. Since before I had any children. it is the pot that taught me to drink the coffee I drink now. It has accompanied me on travels, making coffee anywhere, and what makes it a time travelling machine is
1. the unique taste of the coffee it makes-instant memories
2. it's blackened aspect. it wasn't always black, it became so on an island brewing coffee on an open fire of twigs. (1993)lighting that fire and making coffee there is one of my fondest memories. It gave off the smell of the twig fire for years afterwards, every time it was placed on a heat source, transferring me instantly to that island. Now I only have to look at it.
3. once, in 2002, we were snowed in the house which is now my home, electricity was cut off, the coffeepot became our hero once more by doing its thing on an open fire, in the fireplace..nothing like a cup of good, hot, strong coffee when you're snowed in with a 2 year old and a five year old and no heating......
a whole chapter of my life evolved with that coffee pot in its centre, jose has it because it always was his, but I'm pleased to meet it again and taste its coffee. But in small doses nowadays.
my son picked this piece of tree from the sidewalk and gave it to me. after looking at it and its beautiful galls for a couple of days I bundled it up in one of the cloths I have with me- one of my first bundling experiments, there are faint eucalyptus prints on it. I tied it all around a piece of copper I found lying on the sidewalk. I didn't want to compromise the family's cooking pots, so I put it in an asparagus jar with water and a lid and then did a bain marie- I let it simmer for a while, it got hot. when it cooled, I took it out of the water (there were a few drops of wine, dregs, dripped on the cloth before tying) and now it is staying moist in a plastic shopping bag. I'll let it dry and open it before I leave next week.
this is a textile I saw in an art gallery window.

there are many bears in warsaw. friendly bears.

I;ve wanted to make one of these ever since I saw the stars jude makes. I think I have seamitis- or is it a love affair?

a queens dress, from the museum of mankind. yes, it is full-body and all pieced. yes, it has been making appearances in my dreams

this is what became of the pieced cloth in my previous post.
many stitches have been stitched here in warsaw
and I've been catching up on sleep- the temperature is right

Monday, August 23, 2010

warsaw and prints

I am in Warsaw with the spaniards, that is my boys and their father. Eldest son is moving here to go to school. It is beautiful and sunny (for the time being, anyway) and the parks are stupendous'Sunday morning Chopin concert was fabulous.
this is what came out of a pot left for a week, I sneak peeked and opened it before leaving, and now it is going to stay here. I´ve torn and bundled all my white sheets and pillowcases, and they are simmering in the sun in pots and jars, bundled with metals and leaves. looks promising...

the cloth in the top photo was pieced and then cut into moebius strips and is slowly turning into a strip' what do you call it bias strip ? I'll show you when it's done

Saturday, August 21, 2010

a company of dreamers

more than 10 hours on the ferry to Lemnos. We were a company of 13 people, travelling to tell stories
to children in villages
rocks, sea and sky on the site of the Kabeiroi, demons of fire and craftsmanship
thats me in the second picture, it's not an insulting gesture, just the second time the little rooster ate someone up in the story
look at the word on the little persons tshirt

Monday, August 16, 2010

heart and absence

My heart has adopted every shape; it has become a pasture for a gazelles, and a convent for Christian monks.

A temple for idols, and a pilgrim's Ka'ba, The tables of a Torah, and the pages of a Koran.
I follow the religion of Love; wherever Love's camels turn, there Love is my religion and faith.

Ibn Arabi

piercing like the flight of the hawk
Love is my religion

Ωραιο χελιδονι μου πουθ' ερχεσαι και φτανεις ποια θαλασσα σε βγαζει με τουτον τον καλο καιρο; Εχεις ασπρο το στηθος εχεις μαυρα τα φτερα χρωμα θαλασσας στη ραχη λιγο την ουρα ανοιχτη Ρωτησα για τη μανα μου την πολυαγαπημενη τοσο καιρο με περιμενει τοσο εχει να με δει
Ρωτησα για τον κυρη μου κι ολη τη γειτονια και αν ειχες ομιλια ποσα θα χες να μου πεις Καθομαι μπρος στη θαλασσα παντα σενανε κοιτω λιγο γερνεις καστβαινεις λιγο αγγιζεις το νερο Μα συ τιποτα δε λες για ολ αυτα που σε ρωτω λιγο γερνεις, κατεβαινεις λιγο αγγιζεις το νερο

my beautiful swallow, where do you come from, where do you go
which sea brings you with this good weather
your breast is white, your feathers are black,
the colour of the sea on your back, your tail is forked
I asked my beloved mother, how long since she's seen me
so long waiting for me, waiting to see me

I asked my father and the whole neighbourhood
if you could speak, how much you would tell me
I sit before the sea. I look at you, you swoop a little, you come down a little, you touch the water.
But you never say anything about what I'm asking you, you swoop a little, you come down a little, you touch the water.

song from the Greek speaking peoples of Calabria

Saturday, August 14, 2010

heat and absence

so it happens that I am alone at home for three days. A true holiday, a difference. Also, there is a heatwave. 40C in the shade. limiting movement, and food, and sleep.
so how to fill absence in a heatwave?
reflecting, sweating, musing, watering, myself, plants, myself.
the vat is at its happiest
stitching is ok, especially if I don't get too fussy
at night I play around with positioning cloths
basting sometimes
made a little blue ridinghood with the cutouts from beachcloth and sea cloth. I think I'll give her a pink madder wolf.
cat, owl, fish is an applique sampler
oh yes, dyeing cloths
sort of madly dyeing- there's nothing like a heatwave to bless pots
also preparing bundles, because a longer absence is in the near future, the best recipe to leave them alone
I surprised a gecko in a bag of leaves
I live with colonies of them, they are vociferous and entertaining
and they eat moths, mosquitoes etc
say hello to grace, mr gecko
the window is from kythera, a seaming window
you can see more of my dyeing on flikr, there on the right

Friday, August 6, 2010

to kythera

the birthland of Aphrodite.
I'll be taking with me:
my rostom storycloth, and some instruments
bag of scraps and threads and needles
maybe a sleeping bag- 6 and a half hours on the ship from Pireus
I'll be back on Monday

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

back from Arcadia

mountain villages. Storytelling at dawn, watching the mountains float with the new light, the world being born again. my workshop this year was about the mythic image, metaphor, abstraction. Illustrated by the koutsouna ladies.
"what is in your hand?"
"a boat without sails"
it was half an empty walnut shell.
storytelling, no?
a memory of last year's workshop overwintering in the forest.
and stitching dots, making a cloth out of bundled scraps.
food for the soul.
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