A feisty bird or squirrel loved my Redwood Panel so much that they wanted to take some home. The Museum sent it back to me and I am doing some visible mending on it to send back. I hope the others are faring better.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016
Sunday, June 5, 2016
I finally published all the tree bark patterns in an ebook as well as individually. You can see them all under the identitatum•arborum patterns tab at the top of the page. You can purchase them from Ravelry here. And as I have said before, I am hoping to have a real-world booklet soon with the patterns, too.
It has been an amazing project but I am so ready to move on to thinking about the Great Basin National Park artist-in-residency this fall!
Saturday, June 4, 2016
In all my hurry and excitement of getting the artwork done for the installation back in Massachusetts I forgot to post about the last two wearable art items I finished. The Bristlecone Stole was finished quite quickly because of the super bulky yarn (Shepherd’s Wool Worsted four strands held together) and I had help from my sister to finish the Black Locust Wrap because time was getting short.
Now that I am finished with the knitting part, I am working on getting all the patterns of the wearable pieces together in both an ebook and a real paper booklet. I have never published anything in the real world so the learning curve is quite high. But I am determined to figure it out because it was one of my goals on this project. I do have all the patterns written for the panels in the exhibition but I won’t be publishing those. I mainly wrote the patterns to help me in making them.
So I hope to have the individual wearable art patterns, the ebook and a real booklet finished in the coming week. I am excited about this project! If anyone is in Sandwich, MA this summer, go to the Heritage Museum and Gardens and then drop me a message on how you liked the installation. I hope to have pictures as soon as they send me some.
Information from the patterns:
Bristlecone Pine: Bristlecone pine is a hardy tree that is highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils and is among the longest-lived life forms on earth. One of the oldest living individual trees, named Methuselah, is almost 5,000 years old. Its location is kept a secret for its protection. The tree's longevity is due in part to the wood's extreme durability. Rather than rot, exposed wood, erodes like stone due to wind, rain, and freezing, which creates its crooked forms and gnarled bark.
Black Locust: One of the heaviest and hardest woods in North America, black locust is a powerhouse of a tree. Early American settlers used black locust to build Jamestown because it is resistant to rot. It burns even when wet and tolerates pollution so well that it is planted along streets and parks in large cities. Although its bark and leaves are toxic, its seeds and pods are edible. Ironically the thoroughly un-American name 'locust' was given by Jesuit missionaries, who fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, despite it being native only to North America.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
I have a friend who is moving out of the country and I wanted to design something for her. I was excited to work on something else besides tree bark so I put that project on hold for a weekend to create something different. She liked the neckwarmer with clasps I created for stewartia so I used that as my starting point. Then I asked her what she would miss the most. She said the mountains --our mountains near Salt Lake are called the Wasatch Range and they can be very beautiful, especially in the fall. I found this photo I took a couple years ago of the Wasatch Front in the fall to help with my inspiration.
So with those elements in mind, and taking into account her Norwegian heritage, I came up with this stranded color-work design. A nod toward Norwegian sweaters with an image of the Wasatch Mountains, including Mount Olympus’ twin peaks.
It was my first time steeking and I found it very scary but fun. The cowl is knit in the round using stranded color-work and then it is steeked or cut. The steeks are covered with grosgrain ribbon to hold them in place. Long bands of ribbing are added at the ends to hold the clasps.
I am publishing the patternon my Ravelry page and have graded it for three sizes. I made the small size to fit snugly around the neck but larger sizes will hang more loosely. I hope she likes the neckwarmer I made for her, and she thinks of Utah every time she wears it.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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
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.