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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Stewartia Neckwarmer

The second piece I completed last month was inspired by Korean Stewartia. Stewartia is known for its smooth brown or grey bark that peels in flakes showing orange, yellow, brown, or tan new bark underneath. The bark of Korean Stewartia is one of the most outstanding, with orange patches showing through the flaking, grey bark. The genus was named in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus to honor John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Owing to a transcription error, Linnaeus was given the name as “Stewart,” and consequently spelled the name “Stewartia.” The misspelling does not diminish the beautiful nature of the stewartia bark.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Aspen Muff

Last month was a tough one for me so I only finished two more pieces for the Identitatum Arborum project. The first is a panel and muff inspired by my favorite tree, quaking aspens (see the previous post about Pando!). The Stonehedge yarn I am using felts up very nicely so I decided to felt this piece to give the impression of the smooth aspen bark. This one is really fun to knit up and the lining gives a lot of warmth to the piece.

Here is some info about aspens: Aspen trees are clones originating from a single seedling: the colony grows by sending up root suckers to form new trees. Although a single tree can live from 40-150 years, the root system can live thousands of years. The oldest known colony is named Pando and is estimated to be 80,000 years old. Because the bark is rich in a substance similar to aspirin, it was brewed into a tea by American Indians and European Settlers to provide pain relief, soothe arthritis, and reduce fever.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Utah Women’s Exhibition 2016

While I furiously knitted tree bark this past month, I also entered the 2016 Utah Women’s exhibition and got two pieces in the show, Rozel Point Cowl and Pando Scarf. In addition, my Rozel Point Cowl won the Beatrice Carroll Award of Merit! Thanks to the organizers for such a beautiful exhibition. It will be up for a few more weeks at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. It’s worth seeing!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Cottonwood Test

Heritage Museum and Gardens, where the installation of Idenditatum Arborum will be this summer, asked for a picture of some of the finished panels on trees for some PR they are doing. Since I only have five done, I took a pict of one lonely cottonwood in Sugarhouse Park with all of them on it. This test let a poor cottonwood, who is having an identity crisis, try on a different set of bark skins. It wants to be a paperbark cherry, a rainbow eucalyptus, a palm, a palo verde, and a redwood all at the same time.