South Dakota Snapshots

I was in South Dakota with my family last weekend. On Saturday I had the opportunity to borrow my niece’s truck and go on a late afternoon abandoned farmhouse hunt.  What I found was visually very pleasing to my eye.  The light was gorgeous.  I was walking in ditches wearing my favorite cowboy boots. It was warm and I kept finding these images seemingly rising out of the sky.  These photos represent resilience, strength, courage and yet they also convey a feeling of loneliness and longing.  I found the starkness quite beautiful.

On my farmhouse hunt I got so excited as I did a u-turn into an overgrown driveway and I was ready to shoot loads of pictures.  However, I quickly realized that I was at the same farmhouse I shot in August with my Mom.  Perhaps there is a reason that I got to shoot it again in different light in a different season.

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Fiber Artist/Lynn Ocone guest blogger Maggie Pace

My friend and fiber/graphic artist Maggie Pace visited the home studio of Lynn Ocone.  I saw a piece of hers at a party in my neighborhood a few weeks prior and knew immediately that I needed to know more about her work.  This is a world that Maggie knows much better so I took the photos and Maggie wrote the captions about the work.  It was all so stunning and interested I could hardly even formulate appropriate questions.  Thank goodness Maggie was with me on the studio visit to Lynn’s home..  Maggie has a site to purchase knitting patterns www.pickupsticksonline.com and a blog about her own creative projects. Maggiepace.com. Thank you Maggie for your words, they tell a great story about the process and pieces I had the privilege of photographing.

Thank you Lynn for generously giving us your time and sharing your work.  It is always inspiring to see the work and to gain greater understanding about any creative process.  I hope our paths cross again.

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Lynn created this stone by wrapping roving (unspun) wool around a stone with a spherical object tucked inside. She rubbed the wool with her fingers (probably for hours — very meditative) to felt, then cut out the interior object, revealing the depression at the top of the stone.
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This is an example of Nuno felting, where roving wool (blue) is layered upon silk (green). Lynn lays the wool in several layers on top of the silk, which sits on a sheet of bubble wrap. When her design is set, she sprinkles it with a mixture of water and soap and rolls the whole thing up — imagine a cinnamon roll log before it’s sliced. She then fuses the layers together by working the “log” back and forth using a rolling-pin motion. The agitation causes the wool to shrink and fuse into the silk, which creates the pucker texture. It can take hours of agitation (all the while adding increasingly hot water), to get the level of fusion desired.

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This piece is another example of Nuno felting in terms of materials and process, but reveals Lynn’s signature experimentation with the medium.  The work is made of a blend of printed and non-printed silk fabric fused together with roving wool. The unusual way she built the layers of the silk and roving created a piece that reads more like printed fabric versus the highly texturized look typical of nuno felt. The piece must have been huge before she felted it. Also it must have taken hours upon hours of rolling it, then beating it, to get the fibers so deeply interlocked. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This piece is a great example of the versatility of Nuno felting. The possibilities are endless based on the choice of raw materials and the level of felting. The color spots are roving wool and the white background is silk. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lynn created the boots by rolling together multiple layers of wet, raw wool. These boots are an example of wet felting versus nuno felting. Nuno felting is when silk or another fabric is blended together with roving wool, which creates a lightweight, ethereal fabric, like the green and blue shawl shown here. The boots are pure wool. The circle design is “needle felted” into the boot fabric after it is already felted. In other words, bits of roving wool are pushed through the boot fabric with quickly pulsing needles. This quick action makes the roving “stick” to the boot fabric. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was one of Lynn’s first felted pieces! Amazing. You can’t tell it here, but this rug is about an inch thick. Lynn must have piled on at least three-inches worth of raw layers before fusing them together via wet-felting in order to get create a rug this thick.

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Lynn in her studio. Lynn helps create classes and workshop opportunities at Northeast Fiber Arts center in Williston, Vermont. www.northeastfiberarts.com.

 

Thank you.

Las Vegas Snapshots

Sorry, I really don’t have anything too unsavory to tell you about my trip.  I was, however given a phone number after a photo of me in a kaftan appeared on a friend’s instagram account.  I am pretty sure that this particular Casanova says flattering things and leaves his phone number for all middle-aged women wearing a kaftan by any pool in Las Vegas so I am not letting it go to my head.  Never underestimate the power of the kaftan though.

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Poolside photo by Marita Meinerts

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This is what Vegas feels like to me all the time—day and night—exciting & exhausting.

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We did spot the ghost of Elvis very late one night. He is alive and well.

What happens in Vegas…

I will probably come home tell you about.  In the city where it’s perpetually Saturday night a lot of photo and story opportunities will present themselves.  I am traveling today with friends and my sister to spend a few days in the desert, see a couple of shows and lounge by the pool.  We are celebrating some big birthdays, a reunion of sorts and an epic upcoming spring wedding.  Have a good weekend folks!

vegas sign illustration lisa lillibridge dakota 1966

This week is now history, next week is sheer potential.

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I spilled my coffee in my studio and thought the way it pooled on my drop cloth was really cool.  I was bummed about my coffee but thrilled to get the shot.  I hope you have a week filled with unexpected discoveries.

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”  —James Joyce

 

 

Thank you Grandpa Lillibridge for the enormous influence you’ve had on my life.

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Lowell Louis Lillilbridge, Burke High School Graduation photo taken 1927. He was a young man way ahead of his time coming from a small town in South Dakota.  I don’t think this was the graduation photograph that his father and stepmother particularly liked-it was perhaps even a bit scandalous in the day. Lowell (known as Louis) was graduating a year early and heading off to The University of Chicago to begin his studies. He had a remarkably keen intellect and was the most generous man I’ve ever known, both with his resources and spirit.

Lately, Grandpa has been visiting me in both my dreams and my waking life.  I often ask him what to do when I have challenges in my life.  I promise I am not going to get too (new age-y) here, I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about how much our ancestral knowledge plays a huge role in who we are and how we navigate the world.  Grandpa died July 24th, 1986. I was 19 years old then and my sorrow when he died was felt into my bone marrow.  Now as a 48 year old woman my access to him is much better understood.  He’s a part of me physically (deep set Lillibridge eyes and a decent inseam) and in my spirit.  In my dream last night he told me to “keep going and push harder”.  I can interpret this a lot of ways right now in my life and I am going to pay attention.  Thank you Grandpa for all that you’ve instilled in me.  I am eternally grateful and I am listening.

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A portrait of my Grandfather done by Linda Frasch in the late 1970s I would guess. My Mom just sent me this painting for my birthday.  I have always loved it because of the style.  It very much reminds me of the New Yorker artist Maira Kalman whom I adore.MK_Chapter2-4._V196582876_

Maira Kalman illustration from her 2012 book:  And the Pursuit of Happiness

My quick study in shades of white.

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Today I wanted to play with my camera settings because I’m going to be shooting some jewelry for a friend.  As I started gathering objects from my studio to work with I realized that I was drawn to everything in shades of white.  Here’s my quick study in white.  I like shooting micro and trying to build a narrative around what emerges.  I am shooting with an OLYMPUS OM-D for you camera folks.  I love it and highly recommend the camera for loads of situations.