Posts in process art
Wreath foraging and making

Sure there are places you can go with tables that have all the tools and piles of shrubbery, but - in my opinion - finding your own way (and stumbling a bit) is so much more fun! I especially love trampling through the forest/garden to find clippings, gathering twigs etc and finding other winter treasures (like the glowing orange fungi below!!!)

Anyhoo, below are some clues for wreath-making from this non-professional. Good luck and have fun on your adventure!!

Found glowing up from a dark, soggy stump! OOOOOH :)

Found glowing up from a dark, soggy stump! OOOOOH :)

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We found GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!! :)

We found GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLDDDD!!!!! :)

Also, glowing from the darkness!!

Also, glowing from the darkness!!

Ok, on to wreath construction:  Supplies: Something to cut with (official clippers would probably work better), something to bang down the spikes (I tried pliers, hammer worked better), tree and plant cuttings (seek out little bits of color. Dead stuff looks good too!), wreath frame with spiky things.  Warning: Do not wear soft soled slippers for this activity. Ouch!!

Ok, on to wreath construction:

Supplies: Something to cut with (official clippers would probably work better), something to bang down the spikes (I tried pliers, hammer worked better), tree and plant cuttings (seek out little bits of color. Dead stuff looks good too!), wreath frame with spiky things.

Warning: Do not wear soft soled slippers for this activity. Ouch!!

Make two types of bouquets. Theoretically, you’re supposed to keep this pattern, but I always forget what I’m doing and the world does not end.

Make two types of bouquets. Theoretically, you’re supposed to keep this pattern, but I always forget what I’m doing and the world does not end.

Lay bouquet 1 diagonally facing outward from the frame. Hammer down the spikes to hold it in place.

Lay bouquet 1 diagonally facing outward from the frame. Hammer down the spikes to hold it in place.

Lay bouquet 2 diagonally facing inward. Hammer down spikes. Repeat all the way around.

Lay bouquet 2 diagonally facing inward. Hammer down spikes. Repeat all the way around.

Prayer Petals

A week after my Aunt passed away, I found myself on Harstene Island with a heaviness. It felt like I was standing in a muddy hole. Not a deep one, but my body was so heavy that I couldn’t climb out. It was dark and damp. Moving was the only way out. It wasn’t easy, but I took a step and I picked up a rock, then a leaf, some grass. I looked up and saw roses. I reached for one, cut it, and put it in my pocket. I grabbed another. A thorn left a small scratch on my arm. Ouch. I started noticing more things. Bright green moss. Curly reddish brown - my favorite color - madrone bark. Things started to feel less dark. I dumped them out on a bench, organized them and then just… started moving things around.

How to make art with nature:

Step 1: Go for a walk. Gather some shit (not literally. leaves, rocks, sticks, dirt etc…)

Step 2: Move shit around while thinking of (choose one of the following or insert your own)

  • Someone you miss

  • Someone you love

  • A feeling

  • A problem

  • Nothing at all

Port Angeles Nest

I used to look forward to smores when camping, but now it’s this. Intuition switches on and, like a magnet, the forest provides materials. They bend and shape as if it’s what they were made to do. Sometimes they snap, flip, fall. That’s part of the fun and challenge. This took me all day and I returned to it at different times of day to admire shifting light and shapes. Ahhhhhh. I can still feel the sense of accomplishment even though I left it behind weeks ago. This one reminds me of the gigantic spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and that makes me smile a lot.

Harstene Island Nest

Today, I had a little help building a nest on the beach from my friends, which was really cool!  Michelle was tentative at first - she didn't want to "break it." It's hard to break something you have no plan for, ha! So no worries there. Plus, my favorite part is when things fall apart.

A twig breaks, then another and another. After some time, I figure out which ones are brittle and which aren't. If they are all brittle, I have to figure out ways to make them work. Sometime the whole damn thing crumbles to the ground (profanity follows) - repeatedly - forcing me to rebuild and look at the whole project in a new way. It's so fun. It started to pour today, but I couldn't stop. I spent almost 3 hours building this sucker and enjoyed every minute.

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