Tuesday, 15 June 2010

All Out for Open Studio

Friday was the first day of the Open Studio - preparation had got frantic - days before were spent cleaning out the workshop of stone chips and blocks of stone and I worked flat out to have everything presentable.  My idea was to have finished pieces on display, with work in progress, drawing books and maquettes showing the processes of making sculpture.

It all took much longer than I thought, and I got up an an unearthly hour on opening morning to do final arranging of pieces and put out my signs.

Last touches were put in place as people began arriving. 

As if to celebrate the opening - the Blue Tits nesting in the workshop decided it was time to fly, and out they popped from their nest place flitting and flapping amongst the sculpture, with great noise to let the parents know where they were, who dutifully attended with caterpillars to encourage and cajole.  Eventually they got to the great outdoors - this one made it up into a hawthorn tree safely, although it took all morning.  My visitors were lovely and listened to the how's and why's of stone sculpture and watched the fledgling saga.

The morning was extraordinary anyway - and then it was made doubly so - as my little goose hatched her first gosling, and it pipped its yellow fluffy song and I was so excited and proud. 


The weekend was busy at my studio - thankyou for all your purchases, compliments and kind words, advice and sculpture talk - despite having been hissed at on arrival by the new mother goose.  It has been a tremendously enjoyable few days - though I am glad of the (recovery) week inbetween opening next on the 19th and 20th, when you are all again welcome to my Open Studio.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Tipi Sculpture

On my way to the quarry last month I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of an amazing sculpture - right here in the village.  It was huge and intriguing - made of wood.  It just appeared.  I had no idea what it was and assumed it was a sculpture, or the makings of one.

I learned it was a Tipi - made in the traditional way of the Native American Sioux.  Timber had been cut, in lengths of 10 metres, cleaned of small branches and the bark removed to leave great straight lengths. 

These were then set up, in a specific order, so that each one supported the next until all the poles were raised in a circle with the top ends interlocking.  The site was strewn with evidence of recent labour, the processes of working the wood, and the smell of the de-barked, fresh hewn timber was intoxicating.

Red shavings of bark lay about, curling and twisting as they dried, releasing the sappy aroma.  The poles had been raised specifically for drying out, and the top tied simply with rope.

I stood in the middle of the structure and looked up, and marvelled at the construction and the lovely timber poles, their woody friendliness and imagined how homely it would be with the canvas wrapped around.  There would be a hole in the canvas near the top, to let out smoke from a central fire.

Once the poles have dried out they will be taken down, and the Tipi rebuilt with its covering at another site in the village ready for use.  A camp is planned - I can already hear the crackling fire and the wisdom of the elders through their stories of animals and nature.
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