Friday, September 09, 2011

Eyjafjallajökull and Puyehue-Cordon Caulle

Imagining Antarctica is up in ArtsPost for one more week, so if you haven't seen it yet there's still time. Since installing it three weeks ago I have been having a rest from blankets, and besides catching up on paperwork and housework what have I been up to?

I had the flu for a week and didn't do anything. But before I got sick I finished restoring, at long last, my Adana printing press. Yesterday I inked up for the first time and printed 75 new business cards for myself. It was fun to remember how easy printing can be, especially on a little, user-friendly press like the Adana.

As a reaction against my single-minded focus on blanket stitching land- and ice-scapes with heavy wool blankets for most of the past two years, I have been crocheting light as air little mesh spheres. I've had an urge to make clouds for ages: the aurora borealis of Antarctic winters, the radiation leaking out of Fukiyama, the volcanic ash clouds that have grounded planes around the world recently.

In my first experiment I used up a small hank of thick creamy wool which gave three small gorgeous cloud like globules. New wool is beyond my means at the moment (the exhibitions have left me with some debt) so I've been checking out the haberdashery bins in op shops hoping to find a big stash of a suitable yarn for one of my cloud making ideas. The first thing to show up was a couple of new balls of fine crochet cotton in variegated greys.

Crocheting cotton hadn't been my intention (too fine, too slow) but the grey shouted the volcanic ash of Iceland and Chile. I've been making mesh balls, sort of 360degree doilies in various sizes. To make them spherical I'm experimenting with various home made starch recipes and methodologies. When the crochet is soaked with starch I stuff it with green wool roving to hold its shape while it dries

The next step will be to stitch all my little spheres together to make a small cloud of particulate matter suspended in midair.


Bronwyn Lloyd said...

I can't believe you have the energy to settle down to making those perfect little ash clouds so soon after completing so many major projects. That's passion and commitment for you. I wish I had time to get to Hamilton to see your show!

Iris Rain said...

They look pretty cool - how do you weave them into a circle without anything inside? Instead of ash clouds they look like ash rocks to me. :-)
~Typed for a student in my class