Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scrapbook of Maine

The weeks are passing, in some ways quickly, in others rather slowly, and I’ve now been on board our boat Pandora for a full month as of yesterday!  This is the longest I’ve ever been on a boat.  Here are some images from my month in Maine.

Maine 8.21.10 019 Day schooner that sails out of Camden





Maine 8.21.10 045 Along the Fox Island Thoroughfare, between North Haven and Vinalhaven.




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Herreschoff 12 1/2 (means the water line is 12.5 feet),  well known wooden gaff rigged sloop from the early 20th c. designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff, “the wizard of Bristol” (RI).

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Bass Island lighthouse, southern most tip of Mt. Desert Island.  This is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine!



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Our boat, Pandora, is in the center of this photo, taken from the lookout on the way up to Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor, on Mt. Desert Island.


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Thuya Gardens, designed by Charles K. Savage.




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Thuya Gardens




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The reflecting pond at Thuya Gardens





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Bee house at Thuya Gardens.  Bob took this photo for me so I could remind him to make one for our garden!



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The fog bank rolling into Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert Island.




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The fog bank coming into the harbor and boats rapidly disappearing!




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The rapidly ebbing tide near Blue Hill.  This type of rushing tidal current is called a reversing waterfall.  This is supposedly the biggest reversing falls in Maine.


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Reversing falls near Blue Hill.





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Morning mist on our friend’s 100 yr. old lobster boat in Oven’s Mouth on the Sheepscot River.



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Osprey nest.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Maine Fiber Arts Studios Day 2

My second day of studio/farm visits was just as fun as the first!  Maine seems to be a great place for inspiration and creativity.  I’m so impressed with the places I’ve visited the past two years.  If I lived here I really enjoy having more exposure to these creative people!

Hope Spinnery:  How lucky for me to finally visit this mill that I’ve heard about for years!  It’s in a secluded spot just inland from Lincolnville, nestled in the woods with a rambling garden surrounding the mill.  The upper floor is a wonderful showroom, while the mill equipment is on the lower floor.  I did not get to meet Bill Huntington who runs the mill since he was off-site teaching a workshop. His mother was on hand to welcome visitors and answer questions.

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In the showroom I enjoyed looking at the rovings and yarns, all colored with natural dyes.  Stunning! 


Weaving a Life: Susan Barrett Merrill  Another gem of a studio, hidden in a lovely secluded spot!  Susan is an artist worth knowing!  I must find a way to bring her to NY/NJ so others can experience her charisma and her artistic ideas about weaving and community!

She does amazing things will pulled warp tapestry, creating these marvelous masks.  Maine 8.7.10 011

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Some of the masks have an entire community of figures surrounding the mask, and are fascinating creations in themselves!  Susan’s ideas and her active involvement in bringing weaving into everyone’s life and managing community weaving projects is very exciting!  She generously gave me a copy of her book, Zati: the Art of Weaving a Life, and I am so touched by it. 

Susan has accomplished quite a lot toward her goal of bringing weaving into communities through making Journey looms we’ve all seen in recent issues of weaving magazines as well as writing this book and making several DVDs.  Somehow she still finds time for doing her own weaving and creating these incredible masks.  Maine 8.7.10 021
Her method of weaving ancient pictographs or keyforms is the core to her philosophy about understanding our own journey and inter-connectedness.

I hope I can bring her to NJ to share her knowledge and creativity with weavers from my own community!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maine Fiber Artists’ Open Studios

Well, it’s another beautiful summer in Maine, and I’m so lucky to visit other amazing fiber farmers and fiber artists’ studios!

This year’s plan was a bit more involved than previous years, and it was a fun adventure!  My husband wanted to attend a rendevous for the Seven Seas Cruising Association on Islesboro so we worked out a plan to take the ferry to Lincolnville on two of the weekend mornings.  The first morning we hitchhiked partway and got a cab partway to get back to our car in Rockland.  Then, at the end of the day, I left the car at the ferry terminal so it would be handy for our second day of sightseeing.

This is the eating area of the snack bar at the ferry terminal on Islesboro.  It’s about 7am, and the fog bank is rolling away to reveal the Camden Hills and the beautiful day ahead!Maine 8.7.10 002 It took two hours from the time the ferry left ‘til we had our car, although the ferry ride was only 20 minutes!  We also got picked up hitchhiking a lot faster than when we waited for the cab in downtown Camden!

Day one of fiber sightseeing included Eolian Farm where no one was home, too bad for me!

These photos were taken outside Swans Island Blankets on Rte. 1, just outside of Lincolnville.  What a stunning 18th century farmhouse they use for their showroom! Maine 8.7.10 003We saw the looms as well as the dyeing room.

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Two Sons Alpaca Farm in Damariscotta was the farm highlight of the weekend for me!  Owner Ricki Waltz was very happy to talk about her animals to us, a fascinating blend of alpaca husbandry and tales of the various personalities in her herd.  The babies were adorable and had quite distinct personalities right from the start!

Timberdoodle 2 (alas! no website!) is a lovely studio overlooking the water near Cushing.  It’s a tiny, perfectly appointed showcase of Kathryn Woodstock-Lynn’s lace spinning and knitting!  Using traditional Shetland techniques, learned from such venerated knitters as Gladys Almedro, Sharon Miller and others, she knits lace shawls and wraps of her own design.  Her spinning is exquisite and so is her dyeing!  There were two large hatboxes of yarns for sale, each with enough to make either a shawl or a scarf.  One box held natural colored yarn, the other was full of her hand dyed creations.  She blends acid dyes into a stunning array of colors.  I dearly wanted a ‘red’ but did not have the pocketbook for it this summer.  I did buy a Shetland/Oxford mix dyed an indescribable mix of pink/lavender/tan ….just a small ball that will make a lovely scarf.

Katharine CobeyWhen I entered this studio I instinctively knew that I was in the presence of an artist, and that her studio was probably going to be the highlight of all our travels this summer!  Her studio and its setting along the water is as artistic as Katharine herself.  The wall of glass that faces the water must provide an ever changing inspiration to her spinning and knitting. When I entered Katharine was reclining in an overstuffed chair with ottoman, knitting away on a current project. Her large Rio Grande ‘sitting great wheel’ was nearby, and one of the first things she did was give me a demonstration on how it works!  I’ve always wondered how one could sit and spin at a great wheel, and after seeing Rachel Brown’s simple technique which Katherine does so well, I am awestruck by what a simple feat it is to change from spinning off the spindle to winding on without stopping the wheel.  Thank heaven for Rachel Brown! Katharine made it look utterly simple, but when she encouraged me to try it I quickly learned that I’d need several hours (or days!) to get the hang of it!Maine 8.7.10 033







Part of Katharine’s studio is a showcase for some of her work.  There was a display of knitted mantles arranged in a circle and exquisitely lighted called Ritual against Homelessness.  They were beautifully moving.  There was also a wire-knitted form on the wall that was wonderful. The form itself was interesting and was greatly enhanced by its shadow.  The combination of real form and shadow were terrific together.

On leaving, Katharine handed me one of her postcards which is when I realized I knew of her!  I had seen Boat with Four Figures at the Portland Museum a few years back, but didn’t realize she was the artist!  I’m thrilled to have met her!