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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Disaster Area

I've been doing so many things around the house and trying so hard to keep it moderately tidy that I have done almost no work for the past three months. However, I must finish the mural I worked on during my 10-week autumn residency with third graders from the P.E. Bowe Elementary School (Chicopee, MA) before the end of the school year (just after the middle of June).

Since we have had to delay putting the house on the market (long boring story) I took the opportunity to create a little temporary chaos in the living room. You can see what it has looked like here. And here was its state last Wednesday:

However, it's all in a good cause. All five panels are done (except the extensions where the tree branches will continue into the neighboring panel). Now I must quilt and mount them.

For the mural part of this program (we explored several quilting techniques and traditions) the children (three classes of about 25) drew vegetation then translated it into fabric and designed the three middle panels ("Spring," "Summer," and "Fall"). They also decided that the 200+ words about community they came up with would be written on "seeds" (carpentry biscuits) suspended from the bottom of the quilt and "rain" (method and materials TBD by me).

When it is done the piece will measure just under 4' x 10'. Hopefully I'll be done with the bulk of the work by the end of next week.

Anyhow, I have completely enjoyed myself (other than stressing slightly about the mess I made and how short my time is) and can't wait to finish this up. The process demonstrates, however, why it was important for us to find a house with a large, dedicated studio space somewhat removed from the rest of the living space in our house. Apparently my creative process requires chaos to thrive!

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