Friday, July 20, 2012

Update on projects - Fish and Loaves, T-minus 1 week

So - I've finished all my projects for Steppes Artisan to this point.

Things completed:
Brocaded fish
Fish Mammen silk
Fish Mammen linen/wool
Fish Mammen linen
Added cork and lead to the fishing net
Made netting 'sampler'

Things to do before Saturday morning:
Grind a bit more spelt for the bread and display
Make bread (Friday night or Saturday morning in the hotel - nice and fresh!)
Bottle garum (done every day)
Pack garum (5 gallon bucket, in garbage bag to prevent failure)
Make net supports

Today we're going to go out in the coracle and try floating the net to see how it works in the water with floats and weights - should be interesting.

And now - some of my brocade pieces :) I'd love commentary on the little fish - I think the pieces really show how my brocading has evolved.
A Rainbow of Fish

Look - goldfish!

Dr. Seussian fish :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fish and Loaves - a body of work

Wow - long time, no post on here.

I'm planning on entering Steppes Artisan in July. This is a 'body of work' event, where the artisan sits with his/her work, and the previous winners 'judge' and talk to them. At the end of the event, the past winners (with the B&B of the Steppes) pick the next Steppes Artisan. So each year, there's 1 more judge, although not all of them attend every year. This is a very prestigious event, and many of the Artisans are Laurels (even if they weren't when they won.)

Anyway - while it's a 'body of work' event, I've actually shown most of my pieces in the past, so I like to do new things and show what my current interests are.

This year, my personal theme is 'Fish and Loaves'. It's a quote from 'The Odd Couple: Female Version', and I think it suits my current interests rather well. So far, my tentative list of items:

Fishing net. I'm finally ready to add weights and floats, and I even have some good references to cork in an Iron Age context. I'm going to be playing with lead to make the right weights, and then I'm going to buy some natural cork hunks to make the floats. The 21 ft hemp net is already done, so I think this project has a good chance of being complete, finally.

Garum. I've got a new batch that I just started. Hopefully a better ratio of salt to fish parts will avoid the salted, dry ... stuff that I got last fall. We'll see how this goes. I even have a new pot that I'm 'brewing' it in, since a kitty litter bucket didn't seem quite right.

Fishing Mammen TW. I made one piece out of linen and gave it as a gift - I'm now making a similar band in silk to get the pattern down, and then I'm going to play with variations. I am going to finally attempt brocade, and if it works, it should be humorous, to say the least: Goldfish, anyone? I'm also going to do an experiment to show how Collingwood was incorrect about his analysis of the original Mammen piece. I plan to weave one section in multiple fibers (silk/linen or wool/linen, not sure yet) and then I'm going to cut out the linen, to show what the weave would look like in 'two hole' technique, a la Collingwood. It should be interesting, to say the least.

Coracle Supported Research paper. I don't have my coracle (it died last year) - but I have my 50 pg paper on it, including fold-out timeline. So - it's there, it fits the theme, there you go.

I'll have my supported research paper on the quern, with samples of spelt bread made from hand-ground spelt flour. I am teaching a class on the technique in June, so it should work well. I would LOVE to have time to make my own quern, and we've talked about doing a class on it - but if not, I'll use the Coritani quern.

Oh yeah - and dessert will be sugared fruit, because ...well, it's dessert! I have sugared apricots, plums (from my friend's tree) and new this year: loquats! They are a bit strange - but they taste good.

So there - my plans. I have until the end of July to accomplish this - but I'm well on my way, I think.