Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Knitting Emergency


Yesterday for the first time in my life I was able to say that I had a bona fide knitting emergency. Heritage Museum and Garden emailed and said that within the copse of trees sporting the bark panels for my installation was a small tree that none of my panels fit. It looked lonely without a bark skin of it’s own and I was asked if I could knit something up quickly that it could wear.

So in a day and a half, I designed and knit a thirteenth panel. Although it is small (10 x 15) it still took a couple days because even a knitting emergency won’t let me skip work. So here it is, a tiny coachwood panel that a mere 12” tree will be able to wear in the exhibition.


Here is some nerdy information about coachwood: Native to the Australian rainforest, coachwood can grow in poor quality soil and sand along creeks. It is called coachwood because its smooth-grained wood was once used to make coaches. Today the wood is used for fine furniture and boat making. The wood has a characteristic caramel odor giving the tree another moniker of scented satinwood.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Eucalyptus Shawl finished


I am nearing the end of this project with my second to last design completed. Although I finished all the panels for the installation, I still have one more piece of human wearable art to finish before I can publish the group of patterns. This piece has turned out to be a stunner!



Eucalyptus Shawl is based on Rainbow Eucalyptus bark which is the most bizarre bark I have researched. It’s pealing layers change color as they age giving it a vibrant jumble of colors. Although the tree panel had 13 different colors, I pared it down to seven for the shawl to make it more wearable. I love how it turned out!





Information from the pattern: Rainbow eucalyptus or eucalyptus deglupta is found naturally on many Pacific islands. The unique chromatic bark is its most distinctive feature. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. The green bark then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange, yellow, green, and maroon tones. Although rainbow eucalyptus is widely grown on plantations for pulpwood to make paper, it is sought after as a statement tree in many landscape designs because of it’s showy bark.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Identitatum Arborum panels finished


All the panels are finished for the Identitatum Arborum project and they are sent off to Heritage Museum and Gardens. I am glad to be done with them but sad to see them go out of my sight. It was hundreds of hours of work to do this artwork and I have grown attached to them.

But, I am still working on the last two accessories for humans and hope to have them done this week. Then I can finish up the patterns and get them published. My goal is to figure out how to make the ibook into an actual paper booklet to send to Massachusetts. It is new to me so figuring it out will take some work!

As soon as the Black Locust Wrap and the Eucalyptus Shawl are finished I will post pictures here.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Beech Keyhole Scarf


I finished this one weeks ago but forgot to post it here. I am in a mad rush to finish the last several pieces before I have to ship them off to Massachusetts. This one is a more subtle piece but I love the color of the yarn. The smooth thin bark of beech trees allows any variation to stand out in relief from the tree. The horizontal lines are lenticels which allow gas to exchange between the tree and the air. The small bumps are dormant buds called epicormic buds. All the texture in the bark belies the beech’s reputation as having a smooth, uninteresting trunk. I tried to capture this interesting part of the beech in the scarf.








Monday, May 2, 2016

Oak Infinity Scarf


I am plugging along with the designs for the tree bark project. One of my favorites so far is the Oak Infinity Scarf. I love the deep furrows and the knots sprinkled throughout. Plus the Shepherd’s Wool yarn is so soft.

Oak trees are a common symbol of strength and endurance. Its bark is very resistant to insect and fungal attack because of its high tannin content; which also gives oak its characteristic dark brown color. The tannin-rich bark was used by tanners for processing leather and oak galls were used for centuries to make dark brown manuscript ink. The thick bark develops deep ridges called rhytidome, Greek for wrinkle, consisting of dead cork layers that protect the tree. All these characteristics earn the oak its reputation as a strong, enduring, and steadfast tree.





Saturday, April 16, 2016

Great Basin National Park


I am very excited and honored to be the 2016 Artist-in-residence for Great Basin National Park! This fall I will get to be inspired and awed living with ancient bristlecones, seeing the Milky Way, and reveling in beautiful Great Basin Desert. I am the luckiest person ever!

I will be blogging my residency here, both the planning and all my art I create after. There is limited internet access at the park but I will post at least a few times during the residency. This is going to be a great adventure!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dogwood Wristwarmers


Spring is here and I finished another piece for the Identitatum Arborum project: Dogwood Wristwarmers. The dogwood tree is native to the Eastern US and is prized for its spring flowery bracts. The name dogwood is disputed but most likely comes from the Celtic word dag or dagga. The wooden dagge was a useful pointed tool. The dogowood has a tight-grained hard wood that is used to make tools, weaving shuttles, and golf heads. Dogwood bark was also used to treat dogs with mange. But the bark has no real medicinal properties and the practice probably resulted from the misconception that the name dogwood meant it was good for dogs.