landing on my feet

back home in the foothills
after almost a month away
reentry is sweet.
this year it's more of an unfolding
gently easing me back into this glorious place.
this is where my feet know the land.
this is home.
 in australia i am always finding treasures to bring home
and stephen and theresa dairing have fibertreasure that move me.
(they also have wonderful edgy and utterly cool things, too!)
here is thin hemp thread, slubby handspun silk, and two bundles,
green and brown (both will brown out in time)
of "bark" thread. 
stephen said there was no translation. 
bark thread.
before leaving tim ely suggested i meet up with adele outterridge. 
and she did meander over to anne's home 
a week ago.
(anne newton, me and adele outteridge)
 and i'm prepping for this event
 and on my table there are some things to read and think about.
brambok booklet from the center where my class has been held for three years running.
my students
in the 6 day master class
gave me this amazing book,
so very generous and loving of them!
peek inside
 i'm saving reading this until after the book arts bazaar
that's coming up next sunday.
 they wrote me some lovely words.
in melbourne
i bought some pigments
but i also got a whole packet of pigments
from trace willans
not sure what will happen with them, yet.
think pulp and pigment.
barb adams helped me prepare for the papermaking class.
she gifted me with two books.
 this small piece was a memoir of our work days
 and inside the shifu bag 
  this shifu book
 grounded by a wonderful pebble
stitched to the back cover

in between the covers...
circles worlds
 it's a beautiful book.
and then i bought this little gem
at brambok.
 found this novel in a lovely shop
down near cape otway
traveling with wendy warren.
it's dense and rich and echoed
much of my experience as i finally feel the land here
a bit more.
i need to read to help frame
my experience and this book helped.
 i also bought this
which is fascinating.
 bell did field work, a single mom with two kids in tow.
perhaps of necessity, but my thinking is that
it informed her experience (and those of her kids)
and enriched field work.
(i'm reminded of the things i did with my kids,
volunteering with the disabled riding program, 
bread and puppet, 
art and music events
but this! imagine 2 years of field work!)
 i had two too brief conversations with marion gorr
and i bought this lovely cloth
 silk and amazing stitched images
 i came home to a box from shanna leino
a wonderful little talisman
with political ramifications!
she's sending the proceeds to the aclu
 and one last little thing
helen, from the grampians texture staff
 made this. 
she had her stitched pieces on exhibit 
her first time going public! 
there's a book poster over at facebook
who writes in cyrillic or some other language that i have no knowledge of
but posts beautiful books.
this is the back of a book.
can you imagine?!

a week in the mountains

the season turned while at gareward,
which may be misspelled, apologies,
but is the earlier name
for the grampian mountains surrounding hall's gap.
where i taught a six day master class.
big wind, rain, fog, cool,
refreshing cool.

we made paper from
abaca, hemp, red hot poker, papyrus, new zealand flax
once i set them up
and admonished them repeatedly about mould care,
i could walk away
because these artists had magic hands.
i don't think i have even one photo of the mill
where socialist paper was pulled for three days
(thanks to frank brannon via aimee lee for the concept)
before private paper pieces were constructed
some students continued working as teams
making sample sets of inclusions and other ideas.
inside the mural room we did dry work
spinning kami-ito, 
weaving shifu, 
unfortunately i took few photographs
(students, feel free to send me some of yours, i would love to post them)
andrew brought in his book 
begun three years ago in his first class with me.
robyn made a special sketch book for the class
i walked the room one day after clean up
just to record the students,
foolish because they were mostly gone.
this is the working cartoon for the mural

we made beautiful marks on paper
kathy's work was stunning
colleen made marks with special brushes
she brought along

xanthorea and ocher ink stick
robyn prepped samples for us all
immediately behind my cabin was a rich ecotone
the stump guards the gully
my window was directly to the right of the stump
and one morning i heard rustling
and watched as a wallaby inched along the precipitous path
just below that stump,
seeing first the nose and then head and finally amazed that those
longlegs could maneuver on the slope.
quietly s/he moved, unaware of my eyes
above and behind the shielding screen

evidence: kangaroo
the work of brian, colleen's husband,
who was in another 6 day master class with desiree fitzgibbon
karen's shifu book sculpture begins to take shape
karen also made the tiniest blizzard book i've seen.

and that's all the photos (more or less)
i took, it was a busy busy time.
many repeat students-
such an honor as a teacher.
and because i am don't have to rush home like a crazy woman
back to school
we had one last get together day at my host anne newton's home
and adele outeridge, with her lovely daughter stopped in!
here is adele and me with anne newton above.
what a great day!
i leave early tomorrow morning for 
and home.
letter from Australia,
dear friends,
i am flat out and mostly unconnected
but loving my classes and students here.
the first week i settled in 
at Anne Newton’s eagle’s eyrie
and set to making pulp with 
anne and Barb Adams in preparation for
the papermaking masterclass at grampians texture.
then i traveled to Geelong to stay with Wendy Warren, 
teaching shifu at Mary-Jane Walker’s School of Lost Arts,
a lovely historic house in Geelong.
off to Cape Otway to see
and hear the song of the great southern sea
and respite in the bush.
there, i saw wallaby, panda, and so many birds…
as well as resting and thinking and making some lovely prints.
a one day TAFE class, similar to American extension or adult ed classes,
only organized with a certificate program
where 15 of us ages 15 to older than me
made shifu all day long.
back on the train to Melbourne
helped by three at risk teens who were lovely, charming, and full of stories
who told me about their journeys through 
the labyrinth of teen years.
and now i am at the Grampians Texture 
teaching a 6 day master class.
more news to come, but we are in day three today.
whirlwind and no internet when i have time to write,

but here are some photos:

i will try to add captions later, promise!