Departures, Delight

Whoo.  I came home from Ragdale today and am heading to Cleveland to the Morgan and the Watermarks conference tomorrow, writing this quick pictorial blog while my clothes are in the dryer.  I don’t have to tell you that Ragdale was fabulous; it never fails to be so.  All sorts of things happened since the last post.

My main project (something I’ve been thinking about for a year) needed lots of drying time.  Some of it I spent scouting for locations (there were very specific criteria), and I kept coming back to this:

The broken-off stump is perhaps 12 feet tall; not only did it meet all my criteria, closer to the path,  directly in front of the stump was this:

a big, beautiful fungus, close to a foot wide, right on the ground. Perfect.  While I scouted locations, made drawings, and thought about how to begin, I made two more copies of You Never Know (#2 and #3), just to get the juices flowing.

This is #3.

Then, (after making a cast of my own ear for reference) I built the clay ear shown in the last post, and made the plaster mold also shown previously.  It took almost three days to dry out, but was helped along by Ragdale magic that came through Linda.  I surprised myself by making this

on the heated floor, of Morgan kozo with the green bark intact, and some of my milkweed in little round sheets and some of the unbeaten fiber.

A little mycelium madness – with NO added color (though I had dyed a few small batches of Thai kozo before beginning).

Finally, I could cast the ear in flax, adding some  removable structural and integral installing devices, hand building the back, and setting it to dry with Linda’s magic: wee metal fans she just happened to buy up in Wisconsin the day I needed them though she didn’t know that!  (I now own them). It was a thick, heavy casting that took 2 and a half days to dry, and in the meantime, I went back to that lovely heated floor and built something else that had developed during evening drawing and research sessions:

Mitosis anaphase in dyed kozo with mixed flax, overeaten abaca and dyed kozo sheets in two intensities, with added milkweed fiber (shiny and a bit iridescent; beautiful).  The whole time I was making it, I kept thinking about paramecium, so after the art walk (which was excellent, but during which nothing got done), instead of spending a day making milkweed sheets as I’d planned (I can do that anywhere), I took the art walk evening off to think and draw, and the next day (all day) built this:

The ear had dried and shrunk and warped (with some control by me) during that digression, and had also had some after building to cover up openings.

And then:

Color scheming on top of the original drawings – with erasable Crayola colored pencils!  I’d forgotten my Prismacolors and bought these, cheap – and I like ’em! Then dyeing, and then…!

(late afternoon light)

(morning light)

This has me as excited as I was when I began building (S)Edition and LISTEN; it’s the very beginning of an extensive ongoing project.  More are on the way to Ragdale and I’ve already got a confirmed second location, and two more possibilities.

 But first, I’m off to Cleveland! I loved this residency.

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3 thoughts on “Departures, Delight

  1. speechless!! the installation is astounding. i am SO happy for you and then selfishly happy for us that you will be joining us after such a glorious res!

  2. Pingback: Laundry Sunday | Melissa Jay Craig's Blahg

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