I’ve been home since Tuesday and quickly became thoroughly immersed in what I hurried home for: our shared not-blog-able situation which is just beginning to shift into high gear. It will rumble on, occupying much of our time for the next few months.
This really is a really good show, and the catalog is excellent, with brief essays by each artist.
Cleveland was grand, grand, grand: all of it, the class, the Morgan and Morganites, the friends! Oh, the friends. But still I have no words, just huge overflowing gratitude to everyone there in my hometown (friends who reside there and friends passing through) for a time that I can carry within as we go on with our extended odd and sometimes difficult tasks here.
I may not find many words for awhile, but I will try to have images and write a bit, captioning those.
This is where I asked to stay while teaching, on Tom’s second floor. I love the light, the space, and waking up to the three koi who live in this fountain. Though they are friendly and stick their heads out to be fed when you whistle ‘Garry Owen’ they’re almost impossible to photograph, never still. But I like their greeting each morning and evening, very much.
Above photo courtesy of Lauren Sammon; pretty much the entire class on the first day (a few people were out of the frame).
The classes all seem to need to start the same way, even though I had several people who were repeating. I do lots of demos, talk, answer questions, and from the first day, odd amorphous shapes begin to appear. The magic is in watching these blobby things develop, get added to, and completely transform over the next few days.
(You can see the Morgan’s Facebook album here. Lauren shot photos almost daily; I didn’t have time for much).
When the kozo and the color come into play, things begin to get quite exciting. Several people made bark lace to be shaped later; some made bark lace to be cast then and there. I try not to be jealous of people whose knees still function properly!
At the dye table and in the paper studio; by day 3, people were spread out all over the Morgan. We were lucky to be the only class running during our five days, so we had it all!
I truly enjoyed working with Radha, who came to develop part of her MFA thesis work; she got some viable prototypes and I will be eagerly looking forward to seeing what happens with them, how the whole fits together.
Like the WSW class, most people came to add something to already substantial practices or to develop specific projects; most left with prototypes and / or components for work to be completed later, which pleases me to no end. This is Ammon’s main project, a bark lace sea and an abaca boat which will ultimately become an animation. (On the very last day, a whale’s tail appeared, too). There were many, many colorful bark lace pieces, a series of red bark fists, collages that attained dimension, a series of large abaca-dipped mesh geometric shapes to become an installation, components for arrangements by an Ikebana master and oh, so very, very much more: riches.
Some people did finish things; on the last day, Susan left early, all spiffed up for an event, carrying a bouquet of big calla lilies made by re-shaping and dyeing air-dried sheets of abaca and flax.
Friend Julie McLaughlin, whose big beautiful kimono was one of (several) personal favorites in the show, was in the studio making more from the big deckle box; Tom was making some work with it as well. I wanted to, too.
Ivey, Eastern Paper Studio apprentice extraordinaire, combined one of her kimonos from Julie’s class with bark lace and a subtle use of dyes, in addition to making several other great things. This was just gorgeous, both with the light on it and showing through it.
Thriving Morgan milkweed!
Then, after class and leaving the Morgan, a lovely, restorative time at the SmithSanctuary, with message rocks, bee talk, poetry, a trip out for so much great ice cream that it became our dinners (“Our portions are…rather large”, said the waitperson after delivering the giant bowls), stretching, congenial quietness, homemade jam: touchstone time.
Home, to mid-August gardens needing a lot of trimming back, and burgeoning harvests, some of which have already begun.
And this one. He is HUGE, grew so much; the markings on his coat are changing, becoming more defined; his eyes appear to be changing from bright electric blue to a pale greenish-grayish-yellowish hue. He is shedding a short, dense undercoat, and he was a total drama queen, yelping and yowling whenever I left his sight for a few days. We’re back to much-needed training.