Friday, February 10, 2012

In a Nutshell...the clock is ticking...

A morning with a touch of a white frost lay on my hillside.

I met with the director of Dawes and his primary assistant Laura Appleman to share my ideas of the "Whispers in the Trees" fabric sculptural installation. I will be dyeing yards and yards of natural cotton then be painted and stamped and stencils in collaboration with members of my county community. I am preparing the fabrics as I type right now, preparing for some possible "snow dyeing" this weekend. Wash , cut into 4 yards strips, soak in soda ash to begin the first in a series of themed colors. Monday I will complete the actual proposal with Laura as I understand it to be right now.... and order the next bolt of fabric. Ten yards at a time... well this is the beginning...and that is about all I can handle with the space I have allotted in my home space studio. After the first dyeing steps are heat set I can start the collaboration processes. I am researching and cutting some of my own stencils and have purchased some for small hands eager to help in this enormous project. I am on my way down to the studio to cut fabrics...set up for painting tomorrow with students and reviewing the containers I have on hand for containing the dyes. I picked up some Kona cottons 108 inches wide to work with a layering effect ...cut squares ... soak in soda ash solution... and begin the small design elements. I am going to try to document with photos once the mediocre but vital steps needed to capture this fluid fabric installation. The individual 30 " wide strips ...approximate widths.... with anywhere from 3 to 8 yards lengths of art cloth to create an illusion of a ballet of colors responding to the beauty of the gifts from the Dawes Arboretum. I will be busy as my installation date is June the I am hiring someone to install my works up into the site specific chosen trees.

I also introduced Mary Skrenta to the location for a location for her propose sculpture of the Burr Oak...created fro found metals and recycled materials so as it ages the work will continue to reveal patina and rust images. Believe...Believe... and encourage others to create. My works and sacred marks will honor and reflect the history...The beauty in Nature and the glory of Trees to be discovered at Dawes Arboretum.


  1. All that snow dyeing etc. sounds like so much fun! Could you send me some snow as I would love to try it! :)

  2. This sounds like a fantastic project, I can't wait to see the progress and what it looks like. What a tremendous amount of work you have taken on, but it will be amazing. xox Corrine

  3. What on undertaking, Mary Helen...tired just reading your post today!! LOL Ahh, frost, what's that???? We haven't had much of a winter here and the next few days will be in the lower to mid 60' allergies are really ticked off...too early for this!!

    Have a great weekend and stay warm.


  4. Remember Ladies.... no one succeeds alone and this is going to be a collaboration for us all. The snow is falling now but nothing to really to brag about. I hope we get enough to do some snow dyeing!!! have a great weekend! Blessings, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart