When I mentioned to Roger that this was my favorite work on the land, he smiled and said, “I know her!” and gave me her name: Cornelia Konrads.  I immediately found her website: if you like this work, you ..MUST.. see.. it.  And…she makes books! Delicious sculptural books.  I e-mailed her and got an immediate reply, with her permission to post the link.  She’s coming back to I-Park; we will miss each other by one month. I will look forward eagerly to seeing what she does here next, that’s certain. (If you go to the site, click on ‘gallery’ – the site specific work is there, not in the site-specific link, which wasn’t functioning.  You’ll be very glad you did).


Yes!  It’s Luna III, or one of the first two after a rough night.


This piece is on its way back to Germany with Roger early tomorrow morning. He built a mini-version of his I-Park armature and together we carefully mounted one of my thinner overbeaten abaca sheets onto it. He will keep it for his own collection; and I have a four-and-a half-foot intact shed snakeskin he found in the woods.


This is a detail of a little wheeled cart with all sorts of rapidly decaying kinetic devices on it, built of scraps and found things, that sits in the big meadow.  I liked this bit, which is still functioning, spinning with a breeze, though missing a ‘blade’.


It’s been a busy busy few days, with a well-attended ‘mini open studio’ that let those of us who are staying know what to expect at ours on August 9th, a big potluck dinner, two writer residents and Roger departing, and two newly-arrived residents here tonight, whom I’ve just met briefly.  Also tonight, I finished making the final post of I-Park paper; I’ll spend the next two days casting and shaping those, then the whole studio gets reconfigured for dyeing and building. There’s a bandsaw. And, I’ve found two likely sites for my installed piece; the grouping of trees above is probably my favorite. Blahgs may get scarce again, but, as I hope you can tell, I’m loving it all.


Luna Tune Two


So, I got so excited about finally seeing a Luna, and then heard from a friend from Vermont who said she used to see one every night in the summers, sometimes two.  Sure enough, there was a second Luna yesterday, hanging out all day on the wind chimes just outside the studio back door.  It was a different one; the first had some dings in his feathery antennae and this one didn’t.  This, I am comfortably thinking, is more abundance.  And I finally saw some eastern deer yesterday, two does in their sleek summer red-copper coats.  I came around a bend and surprised them. We stared at each other for two heartbeats and then they fled from my two-legged-ness, white tails waving.


During this production stage in my work, I take my walks in the early evening because I love the light at that time, and inevitably feel as if I’m inhabiting a Maxfield Parrish landscape each time I approach the house or the reflective pond; it’s the further abundance of tall tall oaks, maples, black walnut, beech trees, dwarfing anything human-made: utterly, absolutely peaceful.


(The house is two stories tall plus attic…see what I mean?)


(One of the residents, Jefferson, is out in the canoe in the upper right…)

Luna (no ticks)

Today, all day and late into the evening, I had a visitor. It was a dreary, rainy day, which was good because I am now in the laborious production stage.  We went for an early morning grocery run, and then I got to work. Even though there are double glass doors in the studio, each with a somewhat annoying (but probably necessary) big translucent white X in the middle, I had the lights on because it was so overcast.  At about noon, I looked up, and there he was, peering in at me.


It’s a Luna moth!  They’re huge, gorgeous things, and a rare sight.


When I was oh, about 9 or 10, and lived in a town in Ohio that was partly suburban development and partly old run-down family farms, I hung out for a summer with the neighborhood science geek, the skinny smart kid with a bad haircut, knobby knees and glasses held together with strapping tape.  We spent that whole summer obsessively searching for a Luna moth. He wanted to kill one with formaldehyde and stick a pin through it; he had a collection of mounted winged insect mummies containing just about every other species native to the area. Personally, I just really, really wanted to see one (OK, and hopefully scare it away before he got the jar on it).  It was an enchanting creature to me, and elusive enough to be a Quest. We stayed out very, very late almost every night (in a parental bow to science on his part, by the grace of alcoholic indifference on mine), running wild in the fields and woods, wading in creeks by moonlight, because Lunas only fly at night.  We never found one, but being out and free in the secret, scented dark had its own magic, a feeling which has never quite left  me.


I never did see a live Luna moth until today, just mounted ones in museums (where the kid probably ended up working).  My Luna stayed there all day and all night, barely moving, just seeming to stare at me.  I brought other residents to see him, we shot flash photos, and still he stayed. I left for dinner, turned the lights out, and he was there when I returned.  Finally, a little after midnight, I finished up; about twenty minutes later, I went back out of sheer curiosity, and he was gone.  He’ll only live for a few days, but I’m glad he escaped a pin. I’ve finally seen my Luna moth, and it was still enchanting.

Lunafull2 (I forgot to say: the day before, deep in the woods on top of a steep rocky ridge just before sunset, I saw a huge Great Horned Owl, also fascinating. But they eat Lunas).