Happy Spring Everyone!
We finally have had some warm days. The birds are returning, heard the first peepers last night and the real sign that spring has come has arrived: I finally let the fire go out in the woodstove.
For me, this is a true harbinger of spring.
If you don't heat with wood, it may surprise you to learn that it really is one, continuous fire all winter long. There are small fires lit to keep off the chill in autumn, but when things get seriously cold, usually sometime around early November, the woodstove stays going from then onwards.
Sure, the ashes need to be cleaned out once a week or so but even then I make sure to do it when there are nice bits of coals still going. Those get pushed to the side while the old ash is removed then the big coals are pulled forward and fed more wood to start up again. So it really is one, long fire burning from November till spring. It is always a poignant moment of gratitude when I let that fire finally go out.
I have a little ceremony that I do too where I thank all the elements that helped to keep the house safe and warm thru all the cold months. I thank the sun that grew the trees and allowed itself to get trapped there in the wood to be released later when we needed it. I thanked all the people who continue to make stoves and work with metal, the container for fire...so crucial to holding this rather magical process. I thank my own body for being strong enough to move, stack, and bring inside over 10 TONS of wood during the course of this winter. And I thank the Fire devas for keeping us warm yet safe as the flames burned while I slept, was away or otherwise trusting that all would be OK. I feel it is important to thank the element of Fire for all that it does for us and the little ceremony I like to do at the beginning and the end of this fire that lasts for FIVE and a half months (almost half the year!) is a way of expressing my gratitude that a renewable source for heat is in the central hearth of my home, quite literally.
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On to other adventures! The Big Book project is FINALLY back on track! After several huge hurdles ( 2 computer crashes and loads of opportunities that were good for me but delayed the book) I've now got the entire book laid out. Here's a view of the process:
I've made a few small changes since this image was shot, but basically this is the flow of the book. I needed to see all the pages at once like a storyboard for a film because this whole book does tell a story. Like the DVD, it shows work that is executed thru the passage of a single year. The seasonal shifts and elements are so crucial to my work that this seemed the best way to lay out the entire project. We used to be tied to the seasonal rhythms in a more intimate way so my hope is that by presenting the work within this framework it will reach a deep chord of resonance with the viewers. We shall see how it goes!
As I mentioned in my notice to my Kickstarter supporters, who helped launch this project a while ago, there is one major benefit to be had for this project to have taken as long as it has... and that is that more good work has been made in the meantime and some of those sculptures will now be able to be included in the pages, which should make for an even better book! Images like this one:
or this one:
or this one will now be included but they would not have been had the book been completed any earlier than this.
So now the process of creating the individual pages begins. Each image will be edited for content, cropped and placed on the page. I've wrestled with whether to write captions or not and I think there needs to be some basic information there so people can have their curiosity met regarding the particulars of each sculpture... but this is a book mainly about the images so the captions will need to be bare-bones and spare.... a real challenge for me, as you might imagine! (go ahead and snicker, it's OK!)
There are some other good things to report and share this week one of which is a cool video that I shot of an "ice volcano" I witnessed this week-end. Also I have more news from Amber Lotus and a peek into my next puzzle project which will bring me back to the watercolour studio! Also we'll have a follow-up on Cara-in-Colorado's auction win of the little Faerie house and I hope to give you a peek at another very different Faerie house that is currently on the bench. PHEW! It is bizzy-busy around here!
As for the link to the PBS show, I just got off the phone with Derek Muirden and he assures me that when it goes up on the main website, he'll give me the URL and I can point you there so everyone who wants to can see it. It is still being broadcasted now...after they are done airing it, the video will be archived and we'll get that URL. He did a phenomenal job and it is a huge honour to be the subject of one of his shows... I can't wait to share it with you!
Stay tuned and have fun this week!