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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lovely Mayne Island Day.

Beautiful colours on this forest being.

I put the olive jar in just to give an idea of the size of this beast.

Another huge skull like mushroom pushing through the ground.
Today, despite the earlier disappointment of being stood up by an old friend, I was determined to have a really nice day and not collapse into the lack of energy this new medication makes me feel. I can no longer afford to take even one part of my life for granted.

I braided my hair and put on my hiking boots and took a long, meandering walk into the beautiful little village of Miner's Bay. My forest and the surrounding woods were completely fresh and bright after the wind and rain of the last few days. It was sunny but the air and pathways were crispy with slight cold and fallen leaves. Fall is starting.

The quiet of the Island is disrupted constantly by ferries sounding their horn but there was a new sound. I thought someone was pounding rocks together but it was young bucks challenging one another and fighting with the beautiful antlers they spent all summer growing. The rut has started. There were does hiding near my garden and woodshed. They are plump and shiny from a summer of stuffing themselves. All of them are constantly sniffing the air for the smell of danger and romance.

The mushrooms are everywhere and all kinds of different varieties new to me. The foraging instinct took over. Beautiful bulbous beauties pushing up through the ground. Some in the moss and some pushing up through the gravel road. Lines of them on fallen tree trunks. A palette including blood red, pumpkin, lemon yellow, 50 shades of beige and grey and creamy vanilla. The road to the village was lined with them with a new patch every few feet. I could only identify two of them. Both deadly and poisonous, I felt my ignorance.

The journey was slow and measured. A pace that worked out just fine. First stop was the bookstore to pick up mushroom identification books. Next was the little art store to pick up modeling material  for the forms for my new sculptures. The best little bookstore and art store. And a trip up the stairs to the Conservancy library. But they were having lunch so I went down to the dock and the Springwater Inn to have some too.

I am getting used to being alone again. Sometimes miles of alone. I sat to eat my chicken dinner and there was one other person in the restaurant. I looked at him.  He looked at me then came over, sat at my table and  talked for an hour. He was funny, sweet and very English. A sailor named Andrew who had enough of his boat in last night's wind.

Things got a little informal and he started eating off my plate. Bad and dangerous move! Not  seductive or charming. I come from a large, competitive family and food boundaries are observed in my world. I stopped talking and counted to ten. Backwards. He was English so sensitivity wasn't going to happen here. I decided to laugh instead and really missed my husband, who is English, and is sometimes allowed to eat off my plate.

Andrew wanted to know if I wanted to go for a little sail.

 Oh Gawd! Not a little sail. Not an etching. And not a sampling of homemade wine. Just some company at lunch.

I looked at his watch and explained I worked from home and lied about needing to get back for a phone meeting. Then he called me Pamela (not my name) and picked up the tab and asked if I came in often. And I thought about how nice being alone is. And how nice people really are. So I just thanked him and thought about the doe hiding in my woodshed.

"Bye Pam".

"Bye Sailor."

Clearly proper names aren't required here.

I walked up hill and listened to the quiet interrupted by the ferry horns. On the way home I saw a Boleta, a White Chanterelle and a False Morel.  It really was a very good day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Brielle's Birthday

I got a brand new baby granddaughter today. Her name is Brielle.
She is tall and strong. Her birth weight is 9 pounds. She is loud and doing everything good babies do.
Her mommy and I have appreciated each others super powers.

Birth is the universe.

Monday, September 16, 2013

All Cooped Up!

We have been building our chicken coop. Translated to mean, Tim has been building and I have been suggesting, feeding, offering support, back patting and climbing in and rubbing the building lovingly and with purpose. He will remember that we built it together. He always gives me more credit than deserved.

But together we love chickens equally. They give back. They talk to you. They have communities and hierarchies. They even have wars. Chickens can be more melodramatic than actors from the 30's. They express their agonies and fears.They hold strikes and withdraw egg laying if you forget to do something in their contract. They don't mind being cuddled and held if they have an intimate relationship with you.

So bit by bit the coop is being built by my careful and caring partner. For me. For our little domain.

Our beautiful feathered birds should be here next weekend. Black Copper Marans. French swamp hens who lay eggs like shiny, copper coins.

Always measures twice.

Not a simple cut and paste coop for me.

Tim seems to like building in the pouring rain.

My new chicken home is now waiting for the leaded glass windows.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013


Oh  Joop

I found out today that your life has ended, My dear, dear lovely man.
How can that be? I am not prepared.
Your brilliance astounded me.
Your sensual being left smoke in every room you entered.
I will miss you forever because there is nothing else left to do.