Preparing grass…almost forgotten.

Just a quick note about basket weaving grass.  A longer post will be in the subsistence pages shortly.  Mom, Diane, and I are in the process of splitting the grass we picked in July.  We are looking for the inner blades to use in weaving Unangan baskets.  It is a long process from the picking to the splitting; and the splitting is pretty slimy and dirty!!  Just one more thing to do to keep us honest and out of trouble!! 

Gert and Diane getting ready to split the weavers out of the grass stalks.

Side projects.

Yesterday was a foggy, drizzly day.  Not a day for battling the salmonberry bushes if you had any regard for your physical well-being.  The fish is all up in the drying house, with heat and fans on it (note: fog=no wind) so that it will continue to dry and not spoil.  So…what to do.  Not clean house!  It was Saturday, so no grandson to watch – although he did end up spending the night!  Instead of making chocolates, Mom and Diane shamed me into working on a project I started at least 4 weeks ago. 

My design phase of a fur seal throat pouch.

You can see my basket start, which will be used on the pouch, as well as my mock up.   Diane and Mom have already finished theirs, basically, so yesterday Diane was working on a wild rye grass basket that she is ready to start the turning stich on. 

There is nothing like the sheen of a wild rye basket.

Diane was commenting, that no matter how many baskets she makes, she always drags out the Svarny-girl bible…Aleut Basket Weaving, or Sophie’s book, when it comes time to turning. 

Mom was forced to get out the graph paper to work on her blueberry design for the basket she is weaving.  She hates to do graph work, although not as much as Diane.  Diane says she needs to do more planning and design work – but it just ain’t gonna happen!!  As you can see, Mom decided that piano work was a bit more interesting than anything else! 

Lalala....even the best of artists procrastinate at times!

We will get it together.  There is just so much else to do, though.

Starting young.

I sit here contemplating the short distance to the studio and think that I should use the wovel to clear the path from mom’s front step and then mine to the studio.  I pick up two pieces of soapstone.  Turning the first over in my hands,  I cup the rounded edges of a flower, studiously crafted by the hands of an 8 year old Laresa.  Smooth, with the beginnings of a shine on the surface, a process that takes hours and days to complete. 

The other, still a rough rectangle with slightly smoothed and rounded corners, made by SP when he was 6, shows the beginnings of carving techniques, and also the impatience of youth, as the object is turned into a ladybug with the addition of paint to create color, legs, head, and antennae. 

And, yes, I am on my soapbox again.  Starting young just opens the mind to creativity which is so necessary for productivity.  Plus, as my mom says, working with someone else also bears the fruits of creativity as you bounce ideas off one another. 

Gert's alabaster and Laresa's acryllic.

 Enough said.