"Beauties--all my different sortings.

Ready to begin and see where it goes today. Diving in."

"This part I love.

SO MUCH hand strength needed to pull and twist to keep it tight.

You'll see a broken one in there. Just under the top 2 sticking out to the left. The hazards of weaving. Have to leave it, won't be noticed later (I've learned), and going back to redo is worse as it is all tight now and can't remain that way if I undo."

"How I have to hold it with my left hand before counting back 4 pairs and drawing one of the 4th pair up and over to rest on my left forefinger."

"Now I have to go in with awl and Vaseline to try and make space, in the tight braid, for 2 more sticks to be added on either side of the single. I have the awl in 1 space, will add a stick, then will go to the tiny hole to the right of the awl (you can see the table in that tiny hole).

Takes So Much strength! Only leverage is the pointy sticks into my palm. Adding a total of 26 to the already 17 I started with."

"Original braid with all 26 extra sticks added.

Rest...before beginning the I-feel-like-I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing weave (that seems to turn out every time)."

Another view. Time to undo the wire holding the original sticks together and "make a spiral."

"I can only do what the materials allow me to do...

had to take a break and add in more sticks to keep going round...

no idea how it will resolve.

Welcome to the world of my unknown. In other words, how the hell am I going to get out of this to be able to complete something.”

The material speaks, and I listen.

Up and over the head.

"Now I see...

I need to add more sticks on the right while I'm weaving to complete the spiral.

Don't know if I have enough. I have what I have, will breathe and keep going."

"I am f***ing amazed that I am pulling this off!

Halfway round more to go and I will have come out triumphant AGAIN, with no idea how!"

"Uh oh, not supposed to count the chickens before they're hatched.

I ran out,

nothing to secure the last 10 inches,

which means the WHOLE thing is not secure.

Going to sit and study it and think."

"Tried winding, didn't work.

Luckily a new technique 'Japanese eye' is working.

Doing a series to secure.



Now clean up, and

decide tomorrow about cutting off stray branches or doing more with it."

Final views.

"So many things that are visually pleasing to me in this piece."

Thanks to funding from the MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, I was able to hire a wonderful person to make and create boxes and systems of attachment for my sculptures. On September 8th I will be able to safely pack these boxes in a trailer and hit the road to Fergus Falls, Minnesota! I will help install them for the September 11, 2019 opening! Sculptural works at the Kaddatz Galleries and traditional baskets at the Otter Tail County Historical Society.

  • Martha Bird

What an exciting time!!

I received the 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant which is providing funds to support the development of this website.

I worked closely with a wonderful team of people to bring it to fruition: Karen McCall, my wonderful designer extraordinaire; Andy Sturdevant from Springboard for the Arts; Jes Reyes of Avivo ArtWork; and detail-catchers Liz Salen and Marion Dane Bauer.

Musings will show up approximately monthly. I'll be sharing my art world with you.

The site will be regularly updated so come back to visit.

Most information will come through my e-newsletter so please sign up on the Contact page if you don't currently receive it.

I'd love to hear your response to the look and content if you feel so inclined.

Martha Bird is a fiscal year 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


© 2020 Martha Bird

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Recipient of the Artist Initiative grant, 2019