Friday, February 22, 2013

stepping stones

 I've finished a piece.
It's a significant piece for me in a couple of ways.  Most obviously because it's a wall piece, the first stone wall piece I've done.

 I've named it 'stepping stones' as both a nod to its design and to what it represents to me.

 All of the wool and thread I used is stuff I've dyed by hand from natural materials, much of it gathered from my woods.  There's tansy, strawberry leaf, bedstraw root, mushrooms, yarrow, wormwood, dock, cedar, St. John's Wort, onion skins, red cabbage, and more.  Those colors represent countless walks in the woods, countless moments of experimentation.

The wood is a piece of poplar, also from my woods, that I planed and shaped.  I gave it its grey color by applying the same iron mordant - a combination of vinegar and steel wool- I use for dyeing and a layer of strong black tea.  No stains or polyurethanes.  I left the holes and trails of the burrowing insects that once inhabited it.

 As I worked, I thought about these stitches I do, and how they represent my love of the small and oft-overlooked bits of nature.  I thought about how to make things that are meaningful and beautiful that are at the same time respectful of the very thing I love.

 Rather than gluing, I sewed the stones to the wood.  I rather like how it looks from the back.


I was nervous finishing this piece.  I was afraid that I would disappoint myself once it was all put together but now that it's done, and even though there are things I will do differently on the next piece, I'm happy with it.  It feels like the right next step.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

******
'Stepping Stones'
wood and wool
8" x 17"
2013

52 comments:

monique's mess said...

wow, so very impressed by your creativity and the processes that you go through to create such beauty. It is simpplicity in itself that speaks volumes. WOW

Rachel~ At the Butterfly Ball said...

Congratulations on your first stone wall piece. It is a beautiful work of art. Made even more so by the fact that you dyed it all yourself.

Margie Oomen said...

words can in no way describe the emotion this piece evokes in my lisa. Can it come to toronto to hang in a place where I will be able to visit it and contemplate its depth, fullness and mystery. I love it so much I am in tears writing this little message.
ps i love that you didn't desecrate it with glue.

lynn bowes said...

Oh Lisa, this is absolutely awe-inspiring. For a first wall piece, I'd say you nailed it. Love it completely.

Ellen said...

Absolutely amazing. It touches the soul. Thank you for sharing your work.

negyvenketto said...

Hi!
I've been following your blog for a while, but I think this is the first time I'm commenting. I really love your 'stepping stones', it is so calm and happy and detailed.
Also, a few days ago I've read something in a book, and you came into my mind immediately. I thought you might be interested :)
"Her dye-pot was always on the stove. She was an expert in home-made dyes. No "bought" dyes for Judy. They faded in a year, she averred. Crottle and lichens and barks . . . elderberries that gave purple dyes . . . the inner bark of birch trees for brown . . . green dye from willow stems . . . yellow from Lombardy poplars. Judy knew them all and she and the children tramped far afield searching for them."
(source: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0201061.txt)

Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing your work with us. It is so beautiful, so organic. I'm at a loss for words to match my feelings...

Jodi said...

Oh, fabulous! What a beautiful work of art!

The Dutch Girl said...

It is absolutely stunning!

Zoma said...

I love this! Simply wonderful.

Jenn said...

It's absolutely gorgeous!!

Amy said...

Like everyone else, I am blown away by this piece and all the care and thought that went into it. You are truly an artist!

Sally said...

Positively stunning. I love it so so so much. I hope we'll see more pieces like this. Wow. Well done, YOU! xo

Valerianna said...

Very interesting and beautiful piece. I love that you dyed the wood and stitched the stones on, great!!

Vlaďka Cepáková said...

It is so beautiful! Congratulation!

martine said...

Simply beautiful
thanks for sharing
martine

Vajb said...

So beautiful!

Lora said...

Beautiful. I think it is great that you take the time to sew the stones to the wood rather than using glue.
Lora

Dar Presto said...

This piece and it's story are so wonderful, I hardly know what to say. How about Yay!

Cynthia Nicole said...

Perfect! You've created another complete and wonderful piece of art.

Sonia / Cozy Memories said...

Oh Lisa, this new piece is outstanding ! It feels & looks like a full circle. I wish I had 1/100th of your crafty skills, lady !!
Will you keep, exhibit or sell the piece ?
xoxo

snik said...

I love this so much.

Mousy Brown said...

Fabulous! All of it, every little bit...a wonderful stepping stone to new adventures!

joanie said...

I'm so impressed with every bit of this piece. You're a "rock" star!
It's fantastic to see this "next step" and I'd love to have this on my own wall so I could keep returning to it, studying every stitch.
xo

Stephane in AK said...

Your talent for highlighting the beauty of, and creating beauty from, natural elements -- well there just aren't adjectives adequate to describe the wonder of it. And the love you instill in your work is palpable. You give me joy.

Anonymous said...

It is phenominal! Your intuitive use of materials and natural objects is personified in this piece. Thanks for sharing.

Katerina said...

This looks awsome.

LisaW said...

oh Lisa I am also moved to tears - it's just beautiful, and I knew just knew that there would be no glue.
The back is stunning!
I see a series a this kind of project growing bigger!

Michelle said...

Beautiful, lovely, creative, organic, emotive . . . I would love it on my wall! (Except that I live in a very dusty house; poo.)

redwitch said...

Hi,
It's such a beautiful piece of work and such subtle colours from all the different plant dyes - truly stunning! And so lovely to see several of the stones put together into one artwork. You should be very proud of it :)

Swannie said...

Oh, WOW!!! This piece is simply stunning! It makes me feel so calm just looking at it. I can only imagine what it must look like in real life. It's beautiful. Love the mellow colours that the dyes created. I think you're on to something here.

ariadne said...

An absolutely complete work of art!Really love it!Go on!AriadnefromGreece!

Zdolność-tworzenia said...

Super wykonane i oryginalnie oprawione.

A Deegan said...

its really very wonderful Lisa!

silvergran said...

So glad to have 'found' you! Amazing work which speaks so beautifully.
Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

dear lisa..there is so,so much beauty and talent out there but it's not very often i am touched, motivated and inspired by someone's actual demeanor and words... after following your generous rock tutorial and purchasing one of your gorgeous stones, i've felted and embroidered some for myself, now have enrolled in a couple of felting classes, and am enjoying a wholly new pastime..all inspired by you! thank you for sharing yourself so openly. as for your absolute masterpiece, the beauty and story behind it made me tear up and feel so happy with life and that there is so much simple pleasure in the most humble things and that you have translated that into such lovely, lovely heartfelt art. thank you for sharing such joy!..lucia

Jenny said...

That is such a beautiful piece of art. I love it.

Star of the East said...

It is magnificent!

Scrapiana said...

Wow! That looks amazing!

Laura said...

That is an amazing piece of art Lisa - way to go!

Kris Keese said...

I love how you have combined your love for wool, dyes, embroidery and wood craft all together in one piece. It is exciting.

Sue A said...

I absolutely love it! What a wonderful way to honor and compliment the natural world around you. So beautiful! Keep up your excellent work.

leFiligree said...

this is a stunner! it resonates with nature + everything you make on a whole new level.

Tumus said...

I love this piece so much.

Lisa said...

Lisa it is so unique and beautiful!

handstories said...

This captures so much- experience, beauty, heart, movement... thank you for sharing.

La Chapa said...

This is a gorgeous wall piece. I love the gradual shift in color. Your work is thought provoking and inspirational.

Sophia Silverwoman said...

visiting your blog for the first time i just discovered this absolutely beautiful artwork of yours!! it's perfect. i love it. thank you for sharing it.

Els said...

I'm flabbergasted !

HollyM said...

I think it's an extraordinary piece and love the fact that its all natural.

Lilli said...

This is so amazingly beautiful, I can't find the words to describe how it makes me feel. I am in awe of your imagination and talent. I enjoy crocheting on stones, but have been inspired by you to try a little felting and embroidering too...let's just say I've a long way to go :)

Daniela Frey said...

I've been following your blog for a while and I love your work! I'm in love with this piece, it's so peaceful and pretty!

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