My teen boys buy Pringles crisps.
I never know what to do with the empty ‘cans’, so hoard them!
They look so useful for something!
I made some simple kaleidoscopes, as gifts, last year, and aim to use up my, growing, collection making more, for sale from the Gaia Hut next year.
So far I have assembled 9 tubes.
Just need to think of a way to decorate the tubes….
I’m going to experiment with imagining other crafty uses for the Pringles Can.
So many tubes.
(I have explained they are not real food….)
Possibly enough now to make set for a puppet show?!
Had a bit of fun trying to photograph what the viewer sees when they look through.
These are taken just holding an A4 scan of dried flowers between the Light and the kaleioscope, and moving it around.
I will probably cut this image out and use it for these kaleioscopes, but it can be changed to anything.
The image viewed can be any print copy of anything!
Loved this tri-fairy that popped up!
I had thought there might still be a Christmas market. It was cancelled.
Then thought that hubby would get round to fixing the Gaia Hut’s lights and brakes and that I’d go it alone.
A single COVID freindly, stall, in the village…he didn’t, so neither did I.
All is locking down again .
At least, the pressure was off to complete all my curious makes, for market, in time.
Everything I make becomes ‘stock’ for next year’s Gaia Hut adventures anyway….
Now the whole Xmas present making/Solstice doing Time is upon us.
Elf Ears are on!
It’s become a bit of a family tradition.
Playing a fantasy ‘elf ‘ , Santa’s not-so-secret, moany, house-elf, with these latex ear extensions, helps get me through this ‘season of excess’ and ‘expectation’…. I’d miss it all out all together if I was not ‘Mum’….a right Bear-Humbug by Nature…..
When not writing lists, cooking, pickling, wrapping/assembling hampers for family, decorating,
I escape into making.
Pottering between responsibilites and my ‘artden’ cocoon.
Eating too much butter and chocolate.
Too much coffee and tobacco.
A bit of this, a bit of that.
As the mood takes me.
Here’s a glimpse into my ‘elvish’ doings…..
Gilding the Kitchen Light.
This dosn’t really count as a ‘make’, but it was ‘elvish’ work!
And the kitchen really began to feel quite festive! There was gold dust all over the kitchen and me!
Rendering my own pure’ish’ beeswax
Last summer’s dried flowers: realeased from the press.
Lovely releasing these colours of summer into our, now, winter world and working with them.
Rush cord peg dollies : 3 metres of organic, wrapping twine on a peg dolly.
Link to post showing how this cord is made: https://rollingom.blog/2020/03/09/weaving-women/
Avocado stone/pit carvings
Link to first attempt : https://rollingom.blog/2020/07/28/avocado-turtle-carving/
Just feeling into the shape of each stone/pit.
This time I used a bit of pyro-burn technique too.
Ended up with 3 bears and a wee bird skull.
Totally useless little totem things.
But nice to hold.
A beginners work. Need to keep practising my whittling!
(And get new glasses…these are so tiny to work on!)
Lots going on my little ‘workshop’…. will share more as it arises!
UPDATE 25th DECEMBER : Turned out to be a great way to keep the foliage off the table!
Happy feasting all!
It all started with the invitation from fellow artist and member of ArtMap Argyll, Lizzie Rose, to join her in the village of Ardfern, for this event.
This was a perfect, first, trial of the travelling gallery/studio on wheels. Only 6 miles of country road between our house and hers.
The whole 10 days was quite an adrenaline rush for this quiet, simple living, hill dweller! I am only just landing over a week after it finished!
I already shared a cheeky wee video of us arriving at hers, but here I will share more of those 10 days and of all I learned from working with this Hut, that I affectionately call the ‘Gaia Hut’.
It really was a joy to share space with another artist and her lovely family.
A joy too to be more in the centre of things, in our local village, and meet so many new, curious, people.
To experience the Hut working.
Perhaps I will start there, with these words copied from my FB profile. Words inspired by watching this wonderful video , titled ‘Guardians….not Gardeners’, featuring Mary Reynolds.
“Loved this so much I am weeping Especially this part in her introduction.
“The real truth of these goddesses is that they were wild, they were ambiguous, they were not gentle. They were as mad as a brush in the way that any good wild woman is. They are angry, very highly sexual. There is nothing hidden in them them, only truth. The truth of what true Nature is when it is allowed to be. We have actually lost Nature.” Mary Reynolds.
I am no goddess, but in this last week of public exposure, I often felt ‘mad as a brush’ as I clumsily explained ‘Gaia’, standing barefoot, or described how I garden with ‘weeds’, my deep love of them, how we have to sit in Nature, really look, really listen and learn the lessons from it.
How we need to become stiller to hear that.
When I explained the role/how I use my home-made smudge sticks. Showed others what I see in the branches, got excited about the beauty of the collected wasp-spit paper, babbling re-compost the importance of soil, of ‘shit’, my new love of ‘brown’. Talked of how we need to learn new ways with what grows now in abundance, the bracken, the rushes, demonstrated my rush cordage making. Talked of indigenous understandings and ancient myths.
How ALL my art comes from this place of honoring, playing and being curious.
How I am, slowly, phasing out big works and framing, the buying of factory produced pigments and materials, in favour of home-made pigments and recycled backings.
How my work now focuses on, slowly, using up all the hoarded materials of the years.
Also how I am moving away too, from the retangle ‘cage’ of conditioning. How my art is becoming all ‘small and original’.
How I have ‘reconnected with my inner child at 51 and am determined to never let go of her.’
How my own creativity is becoming a multi-media, travelling, song.
A loving response to the environment I find myself in.
How WE ARE NATURE.
One lady described my ‘wilder’ illustrations, with horns and talons, as ‘gruesome’. We had a good chat about that
Others eyes twinkled at my ‘battiness’, but I could feel were rejecting my message. Not listening really.
Many loved the physical trailer, but barely looked at my expressions. Too small, not impressive. Ridiculous even.
My favorite visitors were always the children……as without exception they all got it. Instantly.
I am deeply grateful to all those that purchased pieces from me and made this whole event a ‘success’. To experience that the Gaia-Hut can be ‘viable’ has helped my confidence enormously. (It also has helped our family dynamics in this econmically driven world!), but it is the MESSAGE of the Hut that means most to me.
I can only pray that some felt it…..I am exhausted now from standing in my truth under such public scrutiny for 10 whole, continuous, days. Shattered. Unsure, even now, whether I should share these words, but this video come in Divine Timing, and this lady’s eloquence encourages me to do so.
Perhaps I can learn from her how to refine my schpeel….or perhaps my wild, ambigous, slightly angry and sensual approach to creative expression is just enough…..?
Perhaps we can all become humble gods and goddesses, loving guardians of this land???”
I think perhaps these words hold most of the experience for me!
This little hut has been a long time in the dreaming.
I also, significantly, learned that ‘Gaianism‘ is becoming ‘a thing’ these days. Something I had been unaware of.
Definition of Gaia by Merriam-Webster
: the hypothesis that the living and nonliving components of earth function as a single system in such a way that the living component regulates and maintains conditions (such as the temperature of the ocean or composition of the atmosphere) so as to be suitable for life
also: this system regarded as a single organism
(More words copied from my FB profile.)
“Gaia.”What is Gaia?”
So many people asked this during my wee exhibition with the Gaia Hut. All I could really say is that I understood it on a deep level from the first time I heard this expression, this word. I explained in simple terms and pointed them in the direction of James Lovelock’s work. His marvellous, remarkable, life changing, Gaia theory.
Randomly I wondered, as I ‘spread the word’, if I was a ‘Gaianist’. If there was such a thing as ‘Gaianism’. I googled it and blow me….there is now! Not really one for ‘ists’ and ‘isms’.
I do find I resonate with nearly all contained here though.
I wonder what James Lovelock makes of this new branch of ‘his’ tree??
I do not see him as a ‘guru’, certainly not a spiritual leader, ….but I am deeply appreciative of his brilliance as a great thinker, scientist and author. And for giving us this glorious word to discuss the WHOLE of it. “
Perhaps this is enough words?
All that is left is to share a few videos of the event, the second and third cobbled together from all the photos I took, and to thank again all who came and enjoyed.
To thank, also, all who bought my #100daystreetales and other experimental, Gaia-inspired, artworks.
Please look out for the Gaia Hut in the lay-bys, camping and beauty spots around Argyll next year.
You would always be most welcome to come in for a chat and a cuppa!
Hope you enjoyed those!
(The music for the last one was one of my kookie music experiments. On my own, in my box room, playing with myself and Audacity app. It just happened to fit perfectly. So Grateful. )
Well, more than a week has gone by since we, the Gaia Hut and I, trundled home, after it’s first, official road test and the exhibition.
It has taken me this long to edit all the photos and assimilate all the goings on.
I think I can safely call it a Success!
I sold many of my ‘small, but original’ works (even a couple of bigger ones!) and everyone seemed delighted by this tiny gallery/studio on wheels.
As am I.
So this post is a rewind to the build that led up to that event.
Continuing the build in preparation for first road test and exhibition 2020
I wish I had documented the build this year as seperate blog posts, but the push to complete, in time for the ArtMap Argyll Open studio event, was intense!
I simply did not have the Time. (I am also a mother, home keeper and gardener!)
The Gaia Hut was used to exhibit in 2019, but was far from finished!
I still needed to repaint/build bed system/install woodburner/finish, hang, wings/build honeycomb storage/fit washing machine window in door/invent cover for rainy days/construct floor/generally strengthen structure/get electrics working…..the list was long.
(The main build ‘story’ of 2019 is intertwined the dense diary of the 72 Japanese Seasons project! I have though added a button in the main menu that brings up posts connected with her transition from box trailer to tiny gallery. , GAIA HUT – BUILD)
So after the Hut sitting as wood/tool store for the long winter, I got cracking again in the spring.
I did not stop to take many pictures, but here is what I have to share.
(Click on first image to see in Gallery format with more of the story attached. On my laptop the words are hidden and you need to use the down arrow to see them. Must chat with wordpress about this!)
I made this collage of, previous, build photos, as so many people asked, during the exhibition, what it was before, how I had made it etc.
I hung this, laminated, on the outside so people could see.
Some photos are repeated here, but hope it gives the general idea!?
So now, after the exhibtion, this wee hut on wheels is ready for me to work in as my garden studio, take out to do more land/location based work, use to write and meditate in and even sleep/live in on my, future, road trips.
It brings me closer to an old way of Life that I loved.
Closer too, to the Earth and the elements.
I can escape ‘the House-box’ once more.
And it can take me away from the isolated, protection, of our hill and out into the wider world that beckons.
Also, hidden in the storage is a 5m tent tipi (with it’s own wee burner) and two camp beds. The table/bed also becomes a sofa using the futon matress (cut to size) that also fits in under the table. Space too for lots of cushions and blankets. I have a travelling stove and lovely, little, kerosene lamps, left to me by my late mother.
I took all this kit to the exhibition with me to test that it all fitted and it does, even with the extra artwork, materials etc.
After much deliberation I have decided to keep it as a ‘power-free space’ and not pursue solar/wind power kits. It feels so good to step away from the digital ‘noise’.
I may be forced to enter the world of the SMART phone though, out of necessity, not something I relish the idea of. We’ll see…
I do have to practise reversing and towing the Hut though, as I am still very nervous on the road. No problems with it’s road worthiness though! It has now been thoroughly checked over by a professional mechanic. I intend to make a sign for the back too, apologising to other road users for it’s slow speed and I might need to consider selling my 1.9 estate in favor of something with a bit more oomph!
Ideas of UK wide travel are dissolving too. I cannot imagine going on a motorway with this precious baby! There are, after all, so many stunning locations within reach of Home, here, to explore.
My dreams of using it for a puppet show are very much alive (one of the reasons for the push out window!) Hoping to entertain many, in Argyll, with my Gaia inspired show.
So many possible uses for such a structure.
I could rent it, locally, for outdoor events, as a dry hub/a DJ booth/a food vending stall. During the exhibition I realised it would not take that much work to create ‘kits’ that could turn it into a mobile sauna or , even, a very posh, compost toilet!!
Looking forward now to future adventures…….
But not before I have posted about the exhibition itself….
I have been so buzy. Getting the Gaia Hut finished and then there was the epic first journey over to Ardfren village (approx. 6 miles of country road) to take part in #ArtMapArgyll open studio event.
A local artist freind had invited me to come and join her in her beautiful garden. It really is the perfect ‘first trip’ for the hut and could not imagine a more perfect place to be. Surrounded by flowers, butterflies and bumble bees….
More pictures of the build and goings on at the event to follow……
Not all ‘in artden’, 2D, creativity going on, here on the hill.
A socially-distanced, garden, ‘get together’, when I produced a totally disfunctional chair for a freind to sit on, prompted some long over-due upcycling!
I bought these old style, ash?, kitchen chairs about 9 years ago at an auction for £5 the pair! The pine stool was from the dump.
Since bought/found, they have sat, outside, in our porch, out of the wet, but exposed to the elements.
Believe it or not, the chairs (and stool) were varnished when I bought/found them, but Time outside meant they have slowly lost their sheen.
I love this ‘driftwood’, natural, finish, but, as we discovered when my friend tried to sit on them, the glue in the joins had well and truly perished and I saw I really needed to give them some lovin’!
I began by re-gluing all the joints in the chairs, then I painted the stool with some old, oil-based, primer.
I hated it.
It dried so fast on the sunny day and everything felt sticky.
It was hard to clean up after and I was covered in spirits.
I realised I did not want to do this to my chairs!
Then I remembered I had some bees wax!
It was such a delight to sit outside, ‘feeding the wood’ of these, now re-glued, yet, beautifully, ‘wonky’ chairs.
They make me smile now everytime I see them.
I had some blue satin emulsion too, in an old tin, so decided to paint the stool blue.
Got some ideas for further decoration of these chairs…..we’ll see what happens….as you can see from this post nothing happens fast up here!
I highly recommend this ‘lazy’ approach to varnish removal though….most of the work had already been done for me, by the elements!! Thank you Ma!
Another related tale, that makes me smile, is that a freind, recently, shared with me, that her young daughter always remembers me as the ‘lady who feeds the wood’!
Isn’t that wonderful!
They had come up to visit my Gaia-Hut Open Day, last year, just as I was waxing some stunning old wood ‘samples’ that my wood-turning grandfather had made.
She had helped me rub it in for a while.
The lady who ‘feeds the wood’.
Talking of the Gaia-Hut, (the tiny gallery/outside,travelling, studio/workshop/puppet show/venue to celebrate all things Gaia), work continues, on these sunny days, at that same incremental speed.
Sometimes I worry that the tyres will rot before I get to go anywhere with it!
Table/storage/bed system prooved a bit of a headache, as I kept making small changes that affected previous descisions. Happy to say it is now functioning properly! And now I have had another idea that will extend it’s multi-functionality into becoming a ‘sofa’ too!
The plywood I found at the dump has become a wooden floor.
Still wondering about how to finish this.
Bees-wax is a no-go as the ply is coated and does not take the wax well. Considering more burning….perhaps a full, shu-sugi-ban, burn?…or maybe some pyro-designs?…I do not want it too dark.
It is looking like, whatever I decide, it will still need a polyurethane coating to protect it….something I had hoped to avoid.
Even wondering, as a lover of natural wear and tear, if I could live with it slowly changing with use, but it would then look ‘dirty’ at first, until the patina really kicks in…
I have cut up some old lino, which will become part of ‘the kit’ for messier activities, to cover it while I decide what to do….
The honeycomb storage was also a departure from my ‘only recycling’ breif to myself. I was going to make something like this, using up lots of mismatched bits of wood, but then I saw these craft boxes for sale, at £3.50 each! I couldn’t resist! And this has saved me so much work!
I do feel a bit as if I have cheated though….
As yet, while work continues, unable to use this tiny space as a studio/plein aire escape…still full of materials and tools….but getting closer each day I work on it.
Washing machine ‘window’ in the door next and shutters for the window side….
The swallows love to roost on it, so it has it’s uses.