Gatherings by Kirsten Weis

Nidi I in process, 2017. Crepe paper, paper cord, wheat paste. © Kirsten Weis

Nidi I in process, 2017. Crepe paper, paper cord, wheat paste.

© Kirsten Weis

I'm supposed to have a baby in nine days. I imagined by this time I'd be "nesting" as I've heard pregnant women do--preparing a nursery, folding and sorting baby clothes, generally being all-consumed by the impending arrival of our new family member. But instead I find myself frantically working in the studio, terrified of how little time I'll have to create for the next few months. 

We are gatherers,
the ones who pick up sticks and stones
and old wasps nests fallen by the
door of the barn,
walnuts with holes that look like
eyes of owls,
bits of shell not whole but lovely
in their brokenness,
we are the ones who bring home
empty eggs of birds
and place them on a small glass shelf
to keep for what? How long?
It matters not. What matters
is the gathering,
the pockets filled with remnants
of a day evaporated, the traces of
certain memory, a lingering smell,
a smile that came with the shell.
— Nina Bagley

In the midst of binding languishing art quilts and finishing up old projects, I've found myself curiously drawn to these nest forms. I sketched them out a few months back when I plucked an abandoned nest off of our gutter and starting thinking about home, and about safety, and about scraps woven and plastered together to create a vessel. A shape for gathering and a shape gathered.

Not sure exactly where these pieces are headed, but they feel full of possibility.   

Nidi I in process, 2017. Crepe paper, paper cord, wheat paste. © Kirsten Weis

Nidi I in process, 2017. Crepe paper, paper cord, wheat paste.

© Kirsten Weis

Studio Update: "Things Said and Left Unsaid" by Kirsten Weis

I began this piece in a fury in mid-July 2016. 

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton. © Kirsten Weis

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

I didn't have a plan, per se. I had a stack of 3x3" squares, I had a pile of roving I had recently purchased at the local Fiber Fest, and I had a deep need to reflect on the way that the way that words spoken and words unspoken are both tangible. Both come together to form a dense fabric of memory. Of family. Both shape experience. Both can be done in the spirit of love and yet can be destructive in their own way. 

The longer I stabbed fleece through cloth, and the longer I stitched absence into tactile presence, the more I both understood that and found a kind of peace within it. 

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton. © Kirsten Weis

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

In spite of all of the things we may wish we had heard, or wish we had said, in the end we are still left with a dense, nubby thing that, for better or worse, simply is. Gaps and ground both equally material. I recently finished Ruth Ozeki's wonderful A Tale for the Time Being, and old Jiko's Zen reflections seem appropriate: Said, unsaid, same thing.   

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton. © Kirsten Weis

Things Said and Left Unsaid, in process. 2016-2017. Linen, merino, rust-dyed cotton.

© Kirsten Weis

On Connection by Kirsten Weis

"Weave real connections, create real

nodes, build real houses.

Live a life you can endure: make love that 

is loving.

Keep tangling and interweaving and

taking more in,

a thicket and bramble wilderness to the 

outside but to us

interconnected with rabbit runs and

burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may

happen:

reach out, keep reaching out, keep

bringing in.

This is how we are going to live for a long

time: not always,

for every gardener knows that after the 

digging, after

the planting,

after the long season of tending and

growth, the harvest comes."

- Marge Piercy, "The Seven of Pentacles"

 

Morning walks by Kirsten Weis

This has been my season of cultivating new habits, and one amongst them is to go for a walk every morning. Occasionally I run, but for me there is no substitute for a brisk, contemplative walk. It's a good time to think and to quietly observe the world around me and the world of my thoughts. 

I often find little bits and bobs, textures that I want to wrap up and take home with me , tiny inspirations that may show up in derivative forms in my sketchbooks or stitchings. I'll be cataloging them here, taking photos on a single theme during my daily walks.

Today's inspiration brought to you by thick fog and delicate webs: 

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