Thursday, June 21, 2012

an interlude for planting

i've been out planting trees again. spending time with my hands in the soil instead of wrapped in cloth. a much needed endeavor. for the yard...and for my spirit. the australian aborigines speak of *jiva*, a *seed power* deposited in the earth. in their world view, every meaningful activity, event, or life process that occurs at a particular place leaves behind a vibrational residue in the earth just as plants leave an image of themselves as seeds. the land's mountains, rocks, riverbeds and its unseen vibrations echo the events that brought that place into creation. i am finding that there is a potency in connecting to these echos. a dreaming that unfolds that is much needed in my life at this time.

as i dig into the earth and cultivate the soil to receive the waiting trees, i contemplate my own *soil*. my home. my work. my art. are they fertile? where is compost needed? pruning? re-seeding? there is much to be done. always much to be done...

i will be back to manifesting cloth and the stories therein in the next couple of days. i have many rust bundles to unwrap. needle chanting to do. dye baths to prepare. workshop projects to re-engage in.

today though, my hands are in the dirt...and it feels good to commune with trees. one must always slow down and become quite still when communing with trees. their thoughts are slow. measured. without haste. for their vision emanates from a totally different perspective and can sometimes take centuries to unfold...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

speculative boro

after untold hours of speculative contemplation and meditative needle chanting, my re-newed pair of denims are complete! the wings and skull were hand embroidered onto salvaged lightweight denim. i chose to stitch the wings down, leaving a raw edge so they will fray and soften during future washings, while needle-turning the skull itself to create a cleaner line. i had originally designed the skull with a dropped lower jaw and tongue, but decided to leave them out because the look become more whimsical than i had wanted. the darker circle and rectangle (still sporting some of the seam ombre and wrapping around to the front of the cuff) are from further up on the salvaged denims that the inserted cuffs were harvested from. the lighter denim square on the left cuff sports a seam from it's previous form. the inserts at the bottom of the cuffs were salvaged from another pair of denims that i had blown out the knees on. i chose to use the back seams which had already begun to fray (from my passion for wearing denims a few inches too long in the inseam so they will bunch around the ankles) rather than from the intact front cuffs so that there wouldn't be a harsh transition from the frayed over cuff to a pristine under cuff.

if you've been following my blog for any time (or know me at all), then you already recognize the skull as a personal symbol that i tend to use a lot. i know it touches some of you with its crypt-worn rasp and chilled breath...but for me it has always been a reminder that life is ephemeral and one must make the most of every moment lest those moments be lost forever!

all in all, i am extremely pleased with the way they turned out.  now to turn my creative gaze upon re-newing a few shirts with some speculative boro.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

summer storms

"the best thing one can do
when it is raining
is to let it rain."
-henry wadsworth longfellow

in typical montana summer fashion, the skies have been filled with stormy clouds full of spit and fury one day and dozing like a lazy heat worn cow the next. it wreaks havoc on my psyche when the weather won't settle down. makes me restless. i can't keep a needle in hand or a thread chant in mind with all this unrest. the best i've been able to do this last week is put down a few uncooperative rust bundles which appear to be refusing to rust during this climatic chaos and sort, stack and re-stack unfinished cloths.

of course, piper doesn't seem to be suffering from the same affliction...


Friday, June 1, 2012

kantha commencement

here you can see the slightly different coloring of the jean piece that i have slipped inside the frazzled cuff. i started working the kantha stitches in a hand-dyed indigo cotton thread, but it just disappeared into the denim and hated to waste the thread for something that wouldn't be visible. so i started over in some heavy vintage cotton thread instead. i'm really liking this so far. 

i thought about changing direction with the stitching and creating a pattern, but decided i'd rather keep this one simple. besides, i want to add some more boro patches to it as well and don't want it to start looking too messy. most likely won't be a "plain" boro patch either... i'm thinking skull shaped or something else different and unexpected at the ankle in more contrasting denim on one leg. perhaps a bone or something else on the other? or a simple geometric?

i'm off to a good start. slow going since denim is so thick...and two layers of denim thicker still...but going nonetheless! i could kiss whomever invented thimbles!