Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious."

My precious secret yarn stash in the light of day!

I have a secret stash of yarn. Not my main stash that I work with and not even my secondary stash that I save for special projects, but a super 'most-secret-ever!' luxury stash that I don't even tell myself about.

It lives in a paper Trader Joe's bag in the darkest corner of the yarn closet. Yes, that is an entire double closet dedicated to yarn. Inside the bag are my most sumptuous treasures. Mohairs. Alpacas. Shiny hemp. Wools that friends have scavenged for me from exotic places. Undyed beauties of incredible softness. Their luminous lengths glow dimly in the dark reaches of the yarn closet and, in my mind, I fondle and stroke them like Tolkein's Gollum. ("It came to me. My own. My love. My own. My precious.")

A few years ago, Doug and I decided to use our 'good' stuff. We eat from the good dishes daily. I drink tea from my Grandma's tea cups. Our bed is covered with antique quilts. It seemed pointless to always be saving the best things for a special occasion that might never arrive.

Flows Like Water (Harrison Park Series) - 12 x 12 x 1.5, Peruvian Highland Wool and Beeswax on Birch

So, when I decided to take a mental break from the Harrison Park series and seek some immediate gratification, it was in this spirit that I dug out the Trader Joe's bag and spilled its riches across my work table. Glowing creams, glossy blacks, softest grays and browns studded with rich jewel tones. Here was treasure indeed. It was time to give battle to my covetous nature and share my precious with the world.

But what to do with it? 

It needed to be quick - a series of small pieces to give me the sense of completion missing from the longer Harrison Park series. 

I remembered how much I enjoyed working on Pebble, so perhaps a dig through the trove of shells and pebbles collected in my travels was in order.

Sea Shell - Luxurious Textures Series, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Wool & Beeswax on Birch Panel

Once I started selecting little bits of beauty to focus on, I had a lot of fun. Working directly from an object always results in something unexpected.

Snail Shell - Luxurious Textures Series, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Alpaca, Wool, Hemp & Beeswax on Birch Panel

Each object is included in a little gift bag tucked into the back of the piece. I like to think that this series might give someone else a chance to reflect on the mysterious beauty of small, natural wonders.

Pine Cone - Luxurious Textures Series, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Alpaca, Wool, & Beeswax on Birch Panel 

I named the resulting series The Luxurious Textures Series as a nod to both my secret stash of luxury yarns and the investigation of the surface textures of small, found natural objects.

Mussel Shell - Luxurious Textures Series, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Hemp, Cotton, and Beeswax on Birch Panel

Immediate gratification satisfied, I am ready to go back to the longer term commitment of the Harrison Park series. Two more square foot pieces to go and then I'm on the big stuff!

Pink Sea Shell - Luxurious Textures Series, 6 x 6 x 1.5, Alpaca, Wool, Hemp & Beeswax on Birch Panel

Before I go, a great big thank you to the fabulous group that came out for our workshop at the delicious St. Jacobs EcoCafe in November.

There were a number of members from the K-W Weavers' and Spinners' Guild there and the quality of the work was magnificent.

As usual, I learned as much as I taught and we had a lively discussion of in depth colour theory and the Munsell colour system. Thank you, ladies, and I may still be in touch to borrow those books!

With holidays and the year's end in view, I find myself ruminating on the great riches life has brought me - love, warmth, abundance - and thinking it is so fragile and temporary.

May you enjoy the 'good stuff' now and make use of your treasures while you are able to enjoy them!