Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

04 January 2007

I Was Wrong

Remember I said that even the woodpeckers weren't bothering with Mr. Stumpy any more?

I was wrong. See the circled white dot in the pictures on the right and left, but not in the middle? That is the head of a male downy woodpecker who spent most of yesterday hammering out a nest cavity in one of the thicker parts of the stump.

I was dismayed not only by the prospect of having to leave Mr. Stumpy standing, but by the sight of a bird trying to start a nest on January third! We might be having mild weather now, but there is no way we will continue frost-free for all of the next four or five months. If he and Mrs. Downy Woodpecker are really so deceived as to start a clutch of eggs right now, most likely they'll freeze.

Last night I went to the Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild meeting at the Herrick library in Holland, and in the parking lot there were trees with buds starting to break!

I live where there are a lot of orchards, and bud break in January is not good at all. A lot of cherries, apples, and peaches are grown around here. If the flower buds freeze off, no fruit. So I'm hoping for a swift return of the cold weather we are supposed to be having.

The fiber arts guild meeting was a lot of fun. Our guest speaker was Ann Niemi of the Kessenich Loom Company, who brought the cutest little 8-shaft loom and many samples she had woven. As she talked about each sample, she passed it around the room, so I got to handle many beautiful silky or woolly or shiny handwoven pieces. And no, I didn't even think to bring the rotten camera!

Some of the blankets and things were so lovely, I warned her that if they came up missing, she better search my bag! Especially her color-gamp blanket -- I just loved those colors.

My own floor loom, a LeClerc Artisat, is still sitting with a three-harness twill warp on it that I put on far too long ago. I warped it up and took it to weave at a demonstration, and then didn't get back to it.

What tends to happen when I take long breaks from weaving is that my loom bench becomes a horizontal surface. Bare, empty, horizontal surfaces attract stuff with a mysterious, gravity-like force. So right now I can't sit down to weave unless I deal (shudder) with that stuff.

It's not just putting stuff away: it's deciding what the stuff is, and if it even has a place; and if it doesn't have a place, trying to create one for it. All those decisions take a lot of energy. Sometimes my studio is called "Lost Arts Studio" because arts are lost in the geological strata!

But Ann's samples were very inspiring. I'm sure that warp is tired of languishing under its dust cloth.


Blogger Marguerite said...

We have the "if its an empty flat surface, it must be there for me to put things on" problem at our house, also. I love the way you described it so poetically.

Yes, we really do need some colder temps or the daffodils will be up soon. Maybe they are. I should check next time I'm outdoors.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I share you concerns regarding the early bud break. This weather is bizarre, I'm not sure were going to get winter at all! At least were still getting rain, if we weren't getting any percipitation I'd be even more worried. It's starting to feel like the Pacific Northwest!

7:25 PM  

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