Tuesday, April 29, 2008

experiments: physical and abstract

I've spent my previous two evenings with Erin, Tturtle, and Colin. We've been congregating in Erin and Tturle's kitchen to discuss, laugh and share our days' adventures. One of Erin's latest art endeavors has been spinning natural fibers into thread.  She's acquired several sheep fleeces from various sources, which she then cleans, brushes, and spins using a drop spindle.  She's mainly been working with wool, but has tried her hand at cotton and has bags of flax and silk to experiment with in the very near future.  I love exploring the wonders of the natural world with Erin.  She excitedly calls me to share her discoveries and results.  When I can, I hurry over and we drool over the creation and materials like dogs over a dropped piece of cake.    After creating some thread with Erin last week, I took the gem home and knitted a small swatch to experiment with some of the different properties.  Upon finishing I reported back to Erin, who was as delighted as I about the results.  We're going to felt with the swatch and experiment with that process and outcome of the particular fleece we used.  Not only does each individual medium have its own unique texture, each has it's own scent; the completely unprocessed fleeces smell like happiness, the cotton like a cool fall breeze, the flax like freshly cut wood.  The color palate is also something I'm particularly drawn to.  I feel strangely at home and soothed by the creams, browns, toffees, eggshells, moss green (of spanish moss we made cordage out of yesterday), and even the pure sterile white of the cotton.  I'm honored that Erin shares the knowledge and techniques she's learned with me.  I find it fascinating and thrilling to make something from the rawest of raw materials.  I can't get enough of it.  Learning the origins of processes we reap the benefits from every single day leaves me in absolute awe.  Even more so since I would never have had the courage to venture this direction on my own.  Erin encourages me to jump right in and not be afraid.  Strangely enough, things I find to be mistakes happen to be beautiful with a little more work.  

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