shibori class, more homework

shibori class, more homework
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

less grump, more homework

Probably that is related. Apparently I am needing sun, because I kept adding more yellow, and orange and red. I am really pleased with the way those came out. I have handfuls of truly awesome washers; I feel rich in washers!

Still snowing. After raining and snowing more or less steadily since Monday night. Must be related to the yellows?

Blue horses

Blue horses
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I was looking for the little blue ceramic Chinese horses, like the ones I found for sale in the Paris subway when I was there as an exchange student. Instead I found Tang horses, and this array of amazing blue horses on Flickr.

Truly, the internet has many things.

snow day out the back

snow day out the back
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

We had a snow day today, one that was justified instead of driven by hysteria.This is what my back yard looked like. Sadly, it rained for a while after, so the snow is heavy and soggy.

I have started another new piece, by painting fabric for the petals of the flowers. The horse is on hold til the thread I ordered comes in.

Alice keeps coming in and offering good advice that I don’t want to take. I can’t decide if I am just being petulant about not having those good ideas, or if they really are not quite what I had in mind…. Actually she is completely correct that I can do a series of smaller ones and run these variations as experiments/variations on a theme/series.

quarter imprint

quarter imprint
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Working on homework for my online shibori class last night, I started experimenting with all kinds of tiny things for resists. The ones that made me laugh are the magnets. Since Christmas we have been all magnetic, all the time around here, with three sets of Bucky Balls, a set of tiny powerful rare earth magnets and two new magnet building toys. Then when I discovered that Canadian quarters are magnetic, as well as the washers I was using, there was no stopping me. Except when the magnets attached themselves in ways I didn’t want, tangling the fabric.

So – magnets for resists. Also quarters, washers, pennies and bottlecaps (which have a pleasing scalloped edge)

Oh Canada!

Tomorrow early I will be packing the car with offspring and friends and hitting the road for Montreal. There will be six of us, three kids, three adults. I have some French from high school and college, and a successful piece of vacation in France in 1985. Cathy has been practicing French with the Pimsleur system, repeating and then singing the little song at the end of each section. Red Kate loved French before she took up German. Aerin is taking French Right This Minute in High School. We should be able to do basic things…. sleep, eat, purchase necessities.

The car has not been so empty or clean inside for years. We will fill it up, and be on our way. I'll report back as circumstances permit. 

If any readers in Montreal want to contact me, use dancingcrowdesigns (AT) gmail (DOT) com and we can get together for coffee!

bronze horse, progress

bronze horse, progress
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I have the horse shape, ready to attach to the background, and I need to think.

There is not enough difference between the horse and the background, and I am working on ways to make the horse important. I had thought to add black sheer silk over the horse, but that decreases its visibility even as it unifies the shape of the horse. I tried the black sheer over the background, and it darkened nicely, to exactly the same intensity as the horse. Finally I have a piece of sheer silk that is white – before I painted it black – and that decreases the intensity of the background, and makes it more subtle. If the horse gets darkened with thread during the stitching process, I might have something.

Works for Sale

The following pieces are on display at the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library for the month of February. They are for sale.

Week 6 rhino and gold Rhinoceros with Gold Bars, 2009

silk background, printed and stitched rhino, gold foil, matted and framed size 10×12″

$85 plus packaging and shipping

Week 2 leaves tucked in Three January Leaves, 2008

printed felt background, printed satin and organza stitched, matted and framed size 11×13″

$125 plus packaging and shipping

What’s next?

The next pieces I want to work on are horses or dyeing projects. I signed up for Glennis' shibori exploration workshop which looks AmaZing! and that should feed some of the dyeing fever I have at the moment. I have three horse pieces in the works, in various techniques and stages. If the shibori workshop isn't enough I will find the pre-reduced (pre-chewed, pre-digested, pre-mixed… pre-SOMEthing!) indigo kit and work with that for a while.

And once I have those done, I have a handful of the weed pieces I have been thinking about that need finishing. I have Queen Anne's Lace and Dandelions and Brown Eyed Susans all in different stages of completion lying about. They are easier to work on in summer, when the inspirations are right out the door.

one maple leaf up close

one maple leaf up close
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

This is the one that didn't make it into the show – it was done in time, but there was a mix-up with the different matte sizes, and this one wasn't mounted in time to avoid a rush charge for framing.

Which is mostly OK, because there are a lot of great pieces in the show, but I am sorry it missed this chance to shine. Plus the Ten Ginkgo Leaves is missing it.

St. Brigid’s Day

St. Brigid's Day, or Candlemas, is also Poetry on the Net Day, so I bring you this:


is not silent, it is a speaking-

out loud voice in your head: it is

a voice is saying it as you

It's the writer's words,

of course, in a literary sense

his or her "voice" but the

of that voice is the sound of your

Not the sound your friends know

or the sound of a tape played back

but your voice

caught in the dark cathedral

of your skull, your voice heard

by an internal ear informed by internal

and what you know by feeling,

have felt. It is your voice

saying, for example, the word “barn”

that the writer wrote

but the “barn” that you say

is a barn you know or knew. The voice

in your head, speaking as you read,

never says anything neutrally – some

hated the barn they knew,

some people love the barn they know

so you hear the word loaded

and a sensory constellation

is lit: horse-gnawed stalls,

hayloft, black heating tape wrapping

a water pipe, a slippery

spilled chirr of oats from a
split sack,

the bony, filthy haunches of cows…

And “barn” is only a noun – no

or subject has entered the sentence

The voice you hear when you read to

is the clearest voice: you speak it

speaking to you.

                            — Thomas Lux