• Martha Bird

An inside view: texts sent to a friend while creating





"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.


Phew!"

















"Secured!


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."

© 2020 Martha Bird

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Recipient of the Artist Initiative grant, 2019