Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wolcott Willow Weaving Was Wonderful

It's kind of difficult to really get the full effect from the picture... sticks with brown grass and more brown sticks in the background. But, that is my most recent living willow structure.

There have been a few twists and turns between the time it got scheduled back in 2014 (I was still in England at the time) and it's recent installation. But it's very exciting to finally see it in the ground!

Thanks to the folks at the Lamoille County Conservation Service and the Wolcott Recreation Committee for making it happen.

Still a wee bit of weaving left to do... and then it just needs to GROW.

Here's a side view shot...

I'll post more pictures once it has leafed out!

Other news from my neck of the woods:
Looks like I will once again be taking part in Sculpture Fest, in Woodstock, Vermont which opens July 2nd. Plans for a community involved sculpture are in the works.

And the Cello a.k.a. 'Permaculture Love' is in a show at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph, Vermont which opens May 1st.

Guess that's about it for now.
until next time-

Monday, December 7, 2015

me, and my cello

 'strolling down the avenue'... ok. not exactly... but did that remind you of the song too?

My cello is in the Helen Day Art Center's member art show thru January 3rd, 2016.

I went to the opening last Friday night and had a grand time... pretty much was one of the last to leave, just doing what i do best... talking...

Many wonderful pieces in various mediums. Some of my faves... Amber DeVoss-colorful abstract art; Nick Neddo-artwork using crayons, paints and inks he made himself from nature!; and Lian Brehm,- beautiful paper bowls...

I encourage you to go, have a look, enjoy, be inspired!
Happy Holidays!
love, susie

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Weaving Willow Withies in Woodstock, VT

I'll be at Billings Farm Museum tomorrow, Sunday, October 18 weaving willow withies into animals and who knows what else during their wagon ride weekend. Hope to see you there... dress warm!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Coming Up... Save the dates

Coming up this Fall I will be traveling to do some demonstrations of weaving willow sculptures. My main focus will be creating sheep but other flora and fauna may appear!

This coming Saturday, September 26, 2015
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 St Gaudens Rd
Cornish, NH 03745

"...From 11:00 am to 4:30 pm, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, N.H., will hold its tenth annual Sculptural Visions event celebrating the many forms of sculpture. Visitors can interact with artists demonstrating different sculptural techniques, such as modeling with clay, carving wood and stone, working with metal and wire, and using paper to cast a sculpture. At 1:00 and 3:00 pm, two sculptures will be cast in bronze during a demonstration of bronze casting.

Throughout the afternoon there will also be hands-on sculpture activities for all ages working with clay, metal and foil. Children will also have the opportunity to create a 3-D plaster cast of their hand. The park and event will be free admission all day, and will happen rain or shine."

Sunday, October 4, 2015
27th Annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
1 Fairground Lane
Tunbridge, VT 05077

Sunday, October 18, 2015
Billings Farm Museum
5302 Old River Rd
Woodstock, VT 05091

still working on a couple other dates and will post those as soon as I know.

I can only hope these demos will open up a whole range of possibilities. Commissions anyone? At the very least-you've gotta know I will be quite content... weaving willow with the gorgeous fall foliage as my backdrop.

Come see me!

Monday, September 7, 2015

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

I've just returned from installing another piece of artwork in Woodstock, VT!

This show is located at the King Farm, just down the road from and considered to be a expansion of the SculptureFest Exhibit. This show, curated by ECO-Visions is called "Intersections: Our Natural and Synthetic Worlds".

My piece is a re-purposed woven willow sheep. With synthetic fleece and a wee bit of  'bling' ie glittery fabric added.

all that glitters is not gold... 

The meaning behind that saying is: the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.

This piece is my interpretation of the way today’s society/culture views beauty, both in a general sense and specifically pertaining to women. We live in a world where ‘natural’ is often thought synonymous with ‘less than’ and ‘undesirable’. Synthetic -whether we are talking about fibers, containers or bodies- is promoted as better, beautiful and desirable.

The overall structure of Rose, the sheep is woven from willow. Natural, flexible, strong, sustainable. It has a long life cycle but will (even if well cared for) eventually disintegrate, providing kindling for a fire or nourishment for microorganisms in the compost pile. The juxtaposition of synthetic fleece pieces tied to the willow sheep is first, intended to make you laugh. Then, to think about how often women feel compelled to hide their natural selves underneath designer clothing, make-up, plastic surgery…

The fleece fabric I used is covered with Disney princesses. I’ll let you personally assign your own meaning to that. And the purple glittery fabric? Well. Of course… all that glitters is not gold. Sometimes it’s purple!

and a few other pics from the show...

 a very cool musical instrument by Jeff Levison!!

 and, by Ethan Ames- torches... my word, not necessarily his. The clam shell  makes a place for a tea light candle. I think Ethan installed upwards of 500 of these along the paths on the 2 adjacent SculptureFest properties and we had a candle lighting along the field path at dusk on Saturday-it is amazing how much light a single tea light gives...  with the entire pathway lit  it was impressive.

Charlet's Scarborough Fair... didn't just focus on the problem... but solutions as well, ie. pots made of manure, seaweed and coffee grounds!

Coming up next for me:
I will be participating with other sculptors in a demo day...

Sculptural Visions

11:00 AM-4:30 PM, Saturday, 26 September

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 Saint-Gaudens Road
Cornish, NH 03745

Friday, April 3, 2015

Flashback Friday - March 2014

Hold everything! I seem to have gotten on the wrong boat. This is definitely not the slow boat to China... the one I'm on is going way to fast... life is whizzing by.

As during my first internship in England, I never got past February in my blogging last year either. So I intended to document the events of March 2014 during this past month of March.

Now I've missed the whole month-so will give you one big blog post- mostly in pictures.

Here goes... these are the highlights of the very busy month of March last year (2014)

I spent my birthday weekend at Tina's folks nr Cambridge. We went into town a couple times.
First, to go to Cambridge University Botanic Garden (http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Home.aspx ). Even in the beginning of March things are blooming and beautiful. I was one happy camper. Just a sampling...

 and... beautiful willow!!
we had lunch at a riverside restaurant, right next to where the punting boats dock. That's one thing on my list for 'next time' -have a ride along the river in a punting boat. After lunch we had a walk about Cambridge until the dimming of the day. Oh I had fun. The Architecture!  

We visited the famous Eagle Pub! 

one of the old haunts of Stephen Hawking (and others)--anybody see therecent movie "The Theory of Everything"? Remember the bridge where Jane and Stephen had their first dance (in the movie)? I walked across that lovely bridge on my own two feet!

Next day we went back to town to the Fitzwilliam Museum.


and of course, actual, real armor--for man and beast. Shiny and impressive. Think about how much weight the poor horses were required to lug around during battle!

 March 6-we replanted a section of hedge on a property adjacent to Bore Place

JW introduces us to the gorgeous little hawthorn seedlings-and gives planting instruction.

Last step, pruning.

The guys had lunch-it was an absolutely beautiful day. I opted to mosey along the mile or so back to the cottage. Stopping on the way to buy fresh eggs at the house around the corner. The guys finished lunch, packed up and passed me by on their way back to the shop. The things we remember... right?

The view from the road... see the Land Rover a way over yonder?

March 8 Tina and I had a little dinner party--
carrot salad and a khorma curry with butternut squash and spinach--yum

March 11, we replaced a woven willow fence at the Quebec House, a National Trust property in Westerham-- see: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quebec-house/
John did this same fence only 5 years ago and it was still in great shape! But the NT wanted it redone and so... we redid! First removed all the old willow (kept us in kindling at the cottage for a good long while!) and replaced it with luscious, fresh green willow. 

also, redid this cool little screen fence that keeps the compost nicely out of view

So, when we did these fences we each took a position. Someone at the start, 1-2 in the middle and someone at the end-this way you weave the same layer all the way along from one end to the next. Keeps things nice and uniform and insures accurate weaving. Normally JW would put me in the first position, because I was a little slower weaver, so, less pressure to keep the rhythm going.

John sent Jake and I over to do this compost screen fence together. And once we got the old willow out Jakie assumed the starting position and I was at the end... and so I was in a frenzy to keep up! But we managed, and both fences turned out beautifully. You can see my head over the top in the pic below. 

the finished products...

and look at this awesome 'old-fashioned' bee skep.

March 14. John, Jake, Me and Arthur. Back to the same vineyard in Shoreham (The Mount Vinyard-- see: http://www.themountvineyard.co.uk/  ) where we harvested pollarded willow during my last internship time. Another glorious day in England, harvesting willow along the River Darent...

 Arthur--guard dog of the stuff...

Jake riding back to the car park atop the 'pile'... looks like fun except those pesky tree branches in the eye along the way!

March 15. Living willow seats course at Bore Place. I donated my seat to Bore Place, where Marigold, the new head gardener, planted it over by the green house and market garden.

here it is planted and growing like crazy a month or so later!

I did an overnight at the Waller's and went with John the next day (March 16) to teach a living willow structures course at Chelwood Gate?

John actually gave me free reign to teach and help the folks along. Which was awesome of him. You can see that it is sunny by the pics. It was actually very, very warm too-specially by the afternoon.

 so, we did a tunnel (on the right) as an entrance to a forest school teaching area. And a bower (left) over an existing permanent bench which faces a large open common area.

March 21st. Pea stick and bean pole delivery day to Chelsea Physic Garden, in London. 
See : http://chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/ John gets a big order from them every year. I didn't get to go last time-so was VERY excited to go this time around. Plus. I had been spending a goodly amount of time in bushy wood bundling peasticks, here and there for a couple months, plus, had helped with the hazel coppicing too, so, felt like my personal time investment was going to be utilized at a world renowned place.

A little blurb from the Chelsea Physic website:
Tucked away beside the Thames, Chelsea Physic Garden is a celebration of the beauty and importance of plants. This walled Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful  Society of Apothecaries for its apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants and it became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. Today, as an independent charity the Garden relies on the support of visitors and Friends to help protect and nurture the Garden for future generations.

WE had the truck AND the trailer loaded right up!

 anybody see the last couple of James Bond movies? This is the MI6 in Vauxhall...

 I am ever amazed at Johns ability to maneuver the land rover anywhere... easy as pie he backed the land rover and the trailer thru the gate-- he had inches to spare.
 The CP crew made very short work of the unloading too!

The Garden wasn't actually open yet for the season, and they were in the midst of alot of work, but we got to walk thru (ever so quickly!) before we left. I hoped to go back again after they were officially open, but didn't make it back. Sigh. Next time...

Sir Hans Sloane-purchased the 4 acres estate CP lives on and leased it to the Society for Apothecaries for a whopping 5 pounds a year in perpetuity. That was a service to humanity I am thankful for!

ooooh. a cool garden wall!

March 26. Obelisk/wigwam making workshop at Bore Place. My first one ever! I even got a well done from the 'boss'.

First pics... the Bore Place Magnolias- just before the buds burst.

Obelisk-getting started...
JW, squinting "what are you doing way over there SG?!"
Me, "trying to stay out of the sun!" In fact, the building gave me about 4 feet of shade for a very short time. By the end of the day, I was frying just like the rest of 'em.

Yup. I made that. A thing of beauty and function. Not bad for a days work... Pat myself on the back why don't I?

And to end out the month, March 30, Duncan brought me to the beach... where oh where was that? (It might possibly have been St Margaret's at Cliffe,.. not 100% sure) this is a pic from google images--does it look like the one I took down below? Will let you be the final judge.

I'll fill that in at some point, if and when I find out. Anyway, we got fish and chips then went and sat on the beach to eat. After lunch we wandered around a bit on our own. D explored the cliff areas, I stuck to the sandy parts, having discovered the rocks were SLIPPERY.

Some mighty cool rock formations and distinct layering patterns! Birds (seagulls mostly) living in the holes.

Nothing like an afternoon at the ocean with fish and chips in the fresh salt air. Then home to beans on toast with Country File on the telly to do a body good.

And that, my friends, was March 2014!
love to all- susie