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.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Beach Picnics, Fermenting Things and Real Brooms.

The Scottish Broom taking over Sweethaven and Mayne Island. Summer 2013
Tim has been taking the chainsaw to the most seriously invasive vegetation at Sweethaven. There is a proliferation of  Scottish Broom on this island. Broom was brought to West Coast Canada by a homesick Scottish woman in the 1800's. It is tall, strong, almost impossible to get rid of and chokes out local vegetation.There are broom removal crews from the Mayne Island Conservancy. I pulled the small plants out by the roots with fervour and managed to pull less than an acre all spring.

Karen Barnaby is my favourite chef in Vancouver. (www.karenbarnaby.com) I love her and would move her next door in a minute! She also works with textiles and loves to spin. She sent me the most incredible link from a group she is working with in Vancouver. And may have changed my hate relationship to broom forever.

Sharon Kallis is an environmental artist and has been an inspiration to me many years. She has been working with invasive vegetation and dyeing for years. But her latest project using broom as a community exploration has reminded me that every problem can be reformed, reworked and reinvented.
Check out her web page www.Sharon Kallis.com. There is a great video on how to use broom there and a link to one in Spain.

The research has got me pulling out the big pots and caustic soda. Tim has placed cut broom for dyeing all over the  road to the house.  We are learning the broom dance to loosen  the fibres.I am looking for extra strong retting tools to breakdown the fibre. And the drop spinner is going to have a new life. It will go with my new obsession for wild culinary pleasures like stinging nettle and dandelion pesto, mushrooms, sea weeds, wild rose jam and wild sorrel soup.

Oh and there is a broom dance in the future. Like the Tarantella but with more chance of falling on one's face.

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