Wheat & Walnut Groves

June 29, 2011

The summer has begun, the solstice has just now past.  The sunlight dwells until well past 8 o’clock.  My late night runs to the indigo field after long days of teaching have been well lit by setting rays of light.  This week’s classes are just down the road from the farm in a 40 year mature walnut grove.  This picture was drawn with beeswax crayons by one of our campers.  The wheat berries were found growing wild in an old pasture, we husked and peeled the plump golden seeds.

The life size jute weaving wall is being slowly constructed under the ancient walnut tree.  Willow and plum sticks make for flexible weavers.

This simply constructed loom was made with old picture frames… the children wove strips of vintage wool from mid-century patterned suit cloth.

The 100 yr. old drum carder fascinated and provided such a meditative movement to the children’s morning routine.  They carded with hand-tools and then moved to the crank machine.  “So much faster… this machine!” they all commented.

Gathered rocks are harvested for making patterns in our clothes.  These were collected at the edge of the bay during our one week museum classes.

The effects of the children’s oak and iron experiments mixed in with some adept rock tying processes created this beautiful head scarf.

The excitement of making “ghost heads” in our T-shirts became overwhelmingly odd and funny.

The adobe houses were made with free form abandon– sticks and seaweed adorned the mud structures.  Discussions of renewable resources, and ‘using what is abundant for it’s first and best use’ was the theme of our house planning process.

Every material found a use.  All found objects were woven into the architecture of the home.  The ocean plant life dried quickly leaving a firm and useful roof for this little house.

Our last and vital activity was to create clay dyed protection flags to bring awareness to the ground nesting Killdear birds.  We could not imagine how the little birds could have remained safe amid the hustle and bustle of the museum grounds– we did what we could to let the passer-bys know of their existence.

More summer images and impressions from the children’s eco-art processes to come….