On these fog and rain-filled autumn mornings, I've been working on a new felting project. Between my two hands, with only the help of a little soap and hot water, I roll long pieces of raw wool. It is the same quick friction one uses to start a fire with a wooden drill. It is an ancient textile-technique, this rubbing of wool with water and heat.
Together, these pieces make lovely scarves or wild thick headdresses for wearing through the eucalyptus woods as they drip fog from their blue leaves. Various vats of dye have been bubbling on the stovetop-- coyote brush and black walnut. (above) bay leaf, japanese maple, eucalyptus, to naturally color each loop. Sometimes, the spicy strange plant fumes have quite gone to our heads!
These "infinity scarves" are a gentle experiment with wool and the colors of the land—and I find that there is a magical simplicity to them, a looping grace that roots you firmly with the wool of local sheep, the dyes from wild hills. If you are so moved, I am selling them in my Etsy shop, Deerstone Felts. Do have a look!
The clothes we put on our bodies are often highly processed, dyed with chemical colors that poison the nearby watersheds and, slowly, our own permeable skins and organs, not to mention the people who make them. Inspired by the work of Rebecca Burgess and her Fibershed project, I love the idea that these scarves/headdresses are so wholly made of natural fibers and colors, you could compost them!
The spider is the ultimate spinner, a truly rooted goddess of weaving.
If this is not true magic, I don't know what is: a spider, circling her web, dipping down her great belly to lay down the silk, from spoke to spoke, as the thousand planets of dew on each thread glint in the dawn. Then, in the middle of her woven universe, born from her own secretions, she sits, she waits.
These are my own very humble webs, connected by silken strands to the textile traditions of women throughout time, all the way back to the weaving spidress, our most ancient ancestor.