Cedar Wing

Cedar Wing

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Signs of Spring

Since the beginning of March, even under the darkness of storm clouds, with flooding rains, and fierce winds that have tested the tallest trees, purging them of their weakest branches, the signs of spring are all around us.

Perhaps because of the darkness overhead, I've been noticing more of the subtle details than ever before. How the leaves of the Indian Plum open first, pointing straight up, and unfurl like a plume of feathers with a cluster of tiny white-bead-flowers hanging down. And oppositely, noticing how the deciduous huckleberry leaves first present themselves facing downward, with a miniature blossom-petal "hat" on top, pale white with a tiny stroke of pink blush.

Deciduous Huckleberry - Not quite blooming...but crimson with anticipation...

...as their tiny pink and white 'caps' appear!

Each circle of seasons we live through, brings another opportunity to experience a new layer of depth and understanding about our place in the scheme of all that lives. We are the witnesses to the sequence and timing of what the living things around us are doing.

Indian Plum with clusters of white blossoms.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

August 4th to 7th, 2011 - Weave With Cedar Bark in the Beautiful North Cascades

Information and registration: 
Remember to ask if you qualify for a tuition discount or a scholarship.

Artistic Weaving with Western Red Cedar (Class #20)

Tuition:  Shared Room $305, Double Occupancy $385, Private Room $545
Cost includes 3 nights lodging and 10 meals. $65 additional fee for materials.

Melinda West          

August 4–7, 2011

1C/24 clock hours

Do you have an especially valued tool that deserves its own woven bark pouch? Would you like to create a purse that reflects your own artistic nature as well as the Pacific Northwest landscape?

Join weaver Melinda West to learn the basics of the traditional art of weaving with plant fibers, from gathering and preparing the materials to weaving techniques such as twining and cordage making. You'll learn about local First Peoples' traditional knowledge of plants, acquired and passed along over thousands of years of experience living in this place, including the gathering and processing of Western red cedar bark, sweetgrass,  iris, common rush, cattail, stinging nettle and wild cherry bark.     

Most of the materials you'll use will come already prepared by the instructor, allowing time for you to practice the skills necessary to design, weave and complete a woven satchel. All of us will have the opportunity to learn from each individual's unique interpretation of this traditional, functional art form while enjoying the rejuvenating qualities of the North Cascades landscape.

There will be an additional $65 materials fee collected at the time of registration. This materials fee will cover cost of pre-gathered, cured materials.

Class size is limited to allow for individualized learning.  Time is built into the schedule for you to explore the the valley trails if you wish, to go canoing on Lake Diablo, or to draw inspiration from fellow artists and naturalists in the beautiful surroundings.

Here are some pictures from the 2010 class I taught at NCI last summer titled "Weaving From the Northwest Landscape."  Many of these students were first time weavers.  Everyone produced incredibly beautiful work!