This is the tin of twelve graphite pencils that I bought in Australia. I love the crocodile on the lid and seldom open the box because I am afraid I will use them all up. Silly reasoning because they will last quite a while even after many sharpenings. The mechanical pencils I have been using have limitations when it comes to drawing, and shading in particular. Plus with these I can get darker areas. So here is the Sticks and Stones Book so far with the use of watercolors and these pencils.
And I have put a bit of color into Lorraine’s leaves a few pages ahead.
Anyway, it gives me something that is a constant in my routine. I can pull it out whenever I wonder what to do with myself….and get lost in the drawing and the beauty of Australia on every page.
Rain has been a regular event here so not too many walks. But there is always baking and drawing.
I went back to the Basket Gathering Book.
On the left is a drawing of the boucle technique when making string from natural fibers. The late Judy Gray-Gardner taught me this at a basket conference years ago in Australia. Before plying the two twisted fibers together, you simply over spin one to the point of it buckling up on itself and then cross it over the other one to ply the two together. Then repeat. You will end up with a lovely “bubbly” string that can be used with another one like it to give an irresistible feel to whatever you are weaving.
I do not have many fronds/leaves/grasses here to process into useable bits but I do have plenty of papers that can be spun and overspun. I might give it a try…
On the right is a drawing of this basket that sits on the shelf in my studio.
One day in the mid eighties my basket instructor, Grace Kabel, asked if I had a favorite book that had an image of a basket in it. Grace was a master at looking at pictures of baskets and figuring out how to duplicate the weaves. She wanted to make it as a gift. So I showed her my most favorite children’s book.
The Castle of Grumpy Grouch. Written by Mary Dickerson Donahey and illustrated by Pilagie Doane in 1948.
When I was little I had white/blond hair like Princess Floria and my grandmother also thought so when she bought this book for me back then.
Anyway Floria has many adventures as she travels to find her lost temper. She is given a magic basket to help her on her way. I think Grace did a wonderful job of working out some suitable weaves from such small pen sketch drawings.
I read this book so many, many times as a child. It is one of two books I managed to keep with me through the moves my family had. It is delightful to know it is on the shelf whenever I want to dip back into it. And to have Grace’s gift of a small replica of the basket is just as special. If you are a basket maker, you might want to ask if someone you care about has a story with a basket as part of the telling. It would be such a gift and bring back many fond memories when the book could be long gone. Just a thought.
The basket inspired me to add it and its magic capabilities to my Stoat Story book a few years back.
The sun is out today. No clouds. No rain. So I am going to the river and then taking myself out to dinner at a local restaurant where Lee and I spent so much time. I am thinking a few oyster shooters, salmon Caesar salad with a glass of fine white wine.
So next time there will be walk photos and more drawings of sticks and stones. Maybe some stitching…..