Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Sometimes there is a beautiful reward for being forgetful. Patience is hard to come by but is necessary with botanical printing. The temptation to lift the covers and just peek is overwhelming when waiting for the beautiful and surprising results of natural printing process.

Ksenya was my assistant at the Island Mountain Arts course from this summer with the taster of different methods of natural dyeing. We had carefully placed objects and leaves on our organic cottons and buried them in the compost to await the results. Then the patient ones put the little bundles
in plastic bags and placed them in suitcases to be opened for later. Ksenya forgot hers in the hot trunk of her car. The package stayed there festering from July to September. The plastic kept the package wet and steeping for all this time. She found it while cleaning out the car and came flying over to the
small talk Gallery to show me the steaming and ugly package.

We placed this living, breathing being on the ground and just observed it in amazement. It was time to go in and see what damage had been accomplished with the summer of neglect/ patience.

Open. Hold breath. The smell was still healthy with an overtone of mildew or moldy earth. The little wrapped bundle was throbbing with life. Ksenya opened the package. Slowly and carefully. The tying threads had become fragile enough to snap off quite quickly. The big reveal exposed an encrusted surface that had plant material and compost. We both took off the barks, leaves and flowers that had morphed into very swamp like remains. This took a little while.

 Complete delight was revealed when we finally turned the cloth over.  Breathtaking organically printed beauty created by nature, forgetfulness and some of the delicious methods adapted partially from the explorations of my textile heroine, India Flint.

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