Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mending our web

The theme of the Whole Earth Festival (annual music/art/education fair in Davis) this year was "Mending our web." In the past I've performed musically, sold crafts and demonstrated weaving/spinning; this year I decided to concentrate on making some art for Artspace. My piece:

It was definitely a process. The glass figures were flameworked over several weeks. Once those were done, I spun up fine silk thread from some of the silkworms I raised last year. The wooden framework was the most challenging. I cut thin strips of some scrap wood I had on the table saw, shaped the ends on the bandsaw and sanded them smooth with the drum sander. However, I wanted to avoid making a steambox to bend the wood and found that the resulting strips were still too thick to bend easily. Luckily I like handplaning and got plenty of practice thinning the strips. Taking a hot shower with them got a gentle curve in, but I had to resort to time over the teapot to bend them as much as I wanted. Then there was the task of weaving the flattened wire and suspending the glass figures on the silk without letting them bang into each other. Finished the sculpture two days later than I'd wanted to, but still in time for the festival.

Meanwhile, my current group of silkworms have been madly spinning. Here's one in progress:

and more cocoons:and more:
and more, pulled off their perches to make room for later spinners:
One determined little silkworm even made it out of the box, across several feet of carpet and up a couple feet to spin his/her cocoon here:
I guess that shows I didn't practice the bass for a couple days this past week but it was a very busy week. However, I did have my first bass lesson and's all about scales. Growing up playing classical piano (not practicing or I might be better, mostly playing) I was never very fond of scales, but in working with my college teacher, I became more appreciative of working on scales to improve technique, so I will be a good little bass student and start doing scales instead of my current regimen of playing/singing jazz ballads. Watch out neighbors, I'm learning to bow...

And last pic of Aaron's first harvest of potatoes...lovely purple and yellow fingerlings preparing for their demise:


Shannon said...

Wow, Kim...the sculpture is amazing. And I thought I was impressed by the squid (which were the first to sell, btw)! And I must say, I have potato envy! Folks are just getting them into the soil over will be much later in the summer when we'll see them at market. We didn't plant any this year, because we hope to be in Cali again by Autumn!

spirals said...

wow... that art piece is probably the most beautiful thing i have seen.... in i dont know how many years.... stunning... mind blowingly wonderful

Mel said...

That was an amazing post. I know you talked about the sculpture when we last spoke on the phone, but you didn't tell me it had so many elements in it! I am assuming you flameworked each person intentionally for thsi project, not pulling off former people from their old perches? ;)

Seriously, the sculpture is gorgeous!

And I loved seeing the pic of the rogue silkworm. :) Have you started eating the dead ones yet, or do they get graciously dumped in the compost bin?

And yes, I remember scales from years of playing violin when I was little. "ee-ee-ee-eee-eee-ee..." my mom said when I first started, I sounded like a moose in heat. Although, thinking back..she's from Panama. When has she ever heard a moose??