Wednesday, October 15, 2014

- Considering Weave: Grace Forrest's Underlying Order


I've alluded to Jude Hill's class Considering Weave quite frequently over the past several months ... but one of the coolest parts of her online study was the opportunity to meet other kindred spirits.

There were at least 80 people in the class (not everyone posted to the open forum) and of those, 50 had their own blogs. It was overwhelming just keeping up with Jude's posts and all the forum posts ... but then some of those promised even more details on individual blogs ... and one of those was Grace.

Grace from New Mexico hooked me early with her blog Windthread (see the KINDRED SPIRITS link to the right). And the posts that stuck in my mind related to a cloth she started on July 4th and ended on July 11 ... the time it took her to create "Underlying Order."

I also noticed how incredibly generous she was about commenting on others' work in the online class forum and she became a role model as I learned how to fit in with a well-established community of textile artists.

Throughout the summer I read and read ... trying to absorb all the new ideas and possibilities ... virtually abandoning my own blog. However, as the class wound down I began to follow other blogs ... and was delighted to find that some in turn were following mine.

So it was that Grace and I began an exchange of posts and comments on compost. Recalling her woven cloth from the summer, I looked back at the original posts, one of which mentioned putting it in her online shop. Against all odds it was still available and I laughed out loud when I read the title: Underlying Order. 

"Like compost," I thought. 

I sent Grace an email asking how to buy Underlying Order,  setting in motion its journey to my hearth ...


There is nothing like seeing a cloth in person ... to touch it, peer at the stitches, turn it over, discover the finest details ... like the incredible hand-dyed backing cloth that inspired me to take the copper pot out of my hearth (just visible on the lower left edge of the first photo) and fill it with cloth, tea, acorns and windfall lichen (when I really did have other things to do) ...


But the very best was seeing, as if for the first time, the diamond ... 


not just on Underlying Order, but on the mug that sits by my chair every morning as the sun shines in ...


Kismet

23 comments:

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Liz...it's late and i am BEAT from this day of hard labor outside but to see this CLOTH here
how it is on the
Hearth.................
and to know too, from your email that your Man also is in agreement

these Large meetings of Community that Jude has...all over the Planet, women,
i remember so so clearly the first time i commented on her blog. This was before she had any online classes at all. I remember saying something like....i was walking and saw a lamplit window and women are inside, sewing, and that i had never never imagined finding such a place. and her reply back to me was " Well, you're here now".
and i remembered being Stunned by even receiving a reply and then by her short and
true words.
That's how it began. And aside from having children, has been the most significant thing in my Life. Which, WAS a very FULL life of STUFF, but this, oh, this, Significant.
and you meet people on the Forums of the new classes, and i saw you and the impeccable work you do which is so different than mine but i read your words and HEARD you and KNEW that i wanted to KNOW you.....and so it goes.
Here's to a long long deep and fruitful exchange. As i said to you, the Goats and I
APPRECIATE in the deepest sense of that word, the Goats and i appreciate so much that you like this.

BIG Love to you....grace

Marti said...

To know that you have one of grace's cloths is such a fine joy. grace is a wonderful, encouraging, supportive and generous woman who especially loves and contributes deeply to this community of cloth women. Her comment above shows you her heart but you also see it in her cloth, words and her photos. She offers us wisdom, wonder, life lessons, quite joys and questions that cause us to consider so many things. Her cloths that so often speak of where she lives, the land of New Mexico, in truth, know no boundaries because they speak to us in the language of connective stitch and story.

Liz Ackert said...

And to you ...

Liz Ackert said...

And now you are part of the story too ... I hope I can find a post on Windthread about how you and Grace dyed the backing ...

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

that's next.

Marti said...

typo, it is quiet joys although you could say at times, quite joys!!

Lindy said...

I started following your blog as well as Grace's (on Feedly) after seeing both of you post during Considering Weave. So wonderful watching connections made. : )

Liz Ackert said...

Welcome Lindy! I looked back and remembered your first weave. So you are a dyer, too! Please let me know if you have a blog ... I'd love to come visit

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

Hey Lindy!

Mo Crow said...

love the diamond connection!

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

hurray, you've got one of Grace's pieces as well, mine has crows and a diamond too, and all of a sudden I realize I still haven't posted about it.......I will now!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

About the base cloth. Over time, Marti has gifted me with cloths she has made in her Pot. I have them all here. Because they are gifts, i didn't feel that i could USE them. But i keep them out, to look at them, let them tell me stories with their marks. The day i wanted to try to find an Underlying Order, i was just wandering around in that kind of altered state cloth creates and picking up strands of this and that, strands that are always on the table because i love them, the visual beauty of them all in a tangle and then THERE...was this cloth that Marti sent. and it was pressed nice, unwrinkled, amidst the chaos that i am. And so it began. The cloth being about the reality of an underlying order that i am only just beginning to RELY on.
And tho i'd not done it ever before, i KNEW that it was OK and Good to work with Marti's cloth. So....you will need to ask her about how it came to be. She remembers everything.

Lindy said...

Hi Liz and Grace! It is nice to hear from you both. I have not done any small dyeing experiments for a while. Perhaps this would be a good time to start again. I don't have a blog. Listening to Jude talking about a blog being like a database makes it sound like a good way to help oneself keep track of things, though. Something to think about. Thank you both for your blogs!

beth from still life pond said...

This post fills me. These threads of connection. Have a wonderful journey.

Liz Ackert said...
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Liz Ackert said...

Oh I love this story ...
I hope Marti will add a chapter on the making of her cloth!

Liz Ackert said...

Oh we are ... although Don's back may cause us to cut it short we have already made memories to cherish.

Liz Ackert said...

And my mister wring ... the cloth that you dyed for Grace, not with Grace ... little did I know when I made that first comment on Saskia's blog!

Liz Ackert said...

Ha! I'm not deleting that autocorrect typo ... it's too funny. It should read "misremembering"

Liz Ackert said...

Seeing the new piece of dyed cloth that Grace just made I couldn't help but think of Joan Baez singing Diamonds and Rust (but Mo, I still prefer turquoise to diamonds)

Marti said...
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Marti said...

The story about the making of this cloth gets a little confusing because the base cloth was smooth and looked ironed so grace thought it was a cloth that I had made. Turns out that it was a cloth that we had made together. (After I dye cloths and hang them out on my clothes line outdoors, sometimes I iron them after they dry if I am not enamored of some of the wrinkles and crinkles on the cloth. Other times they add to the overall texture so I keep them. Ironing cloth lets the smell of whatever I have dyed with rise up and envelope me in that earthy, organic, woodsy, green veggie smell that I like. I rarely wash my cloths since I use them for the most part to make landscape collages that go up on my walls.

If you go to grace's blog and look at the entry of July 5th, you will see that she notes that the base cloth is a cloth that we made together. It is easy to understand the confusion here because this particular cloth was smooth after it dried on the line, sometimes cloths dry in that way and ironing them is not needed..

In May, I spent several days with grace, we called it our camp out. Just hanging out, being together, being with goats, driving around, meeting people she knows, staying up late talking, getting up early to go to special places ,one of them a most compelling and beautiful place, one of her favorite places, Water Canyon. Cloth was always a companion during this time, looking at cloth, touching cloth, talking about cloth and dyeing cloth. I had brought several pieces of recycled white cotton for out dye experiments, some I had used an alum mordant, some had a soy milk mordant. I foraged around her land, collected assorted dye materials such as elderberry, sumac, coral berry, plus rusty bits and washers, etc. This particular cloth was made from coral berry and sumac trimmings as well as a few metal washers thrown in the mix. After we got some results, I hung it up on grace's clothes line and it dried in the warm sun and soft wind, looking as if it had been ironed.

It pleases me to know that grace chose this cloth that we made together as the base for her work and that it now is in your hands Liz.

Liz Ackert said...

I do so love a great story ... thank you!!