eel traps.Yvonne Koolmatrie. 1993. woven rush

Our life is going into cardboard boxes again.
And while our life is going into cardboard boxes so too are the vessels...
tissue paper
bubble wrap
and cardboard boxes.

So some artists are going to have to fill in for me for the next few weeks.

First up is Yvonne Koolmatrie, an indigenous artist who weaves these beautiful shapes based on her clan's traditional fishing implements out of rushes. The director I'm working with at the moment put me onto her work and I'm so grateful. This is one of the up sides of what I do..I get to do such varied research.

Edited to add: Kirsten the vessel wednesday flikr group is at http://www.flickr.com/groups/vessel/
And a little more on Koolmatrie's work here.


Bring out your vessels!

The vessel wednesday flikr group is up!

Stop by, enjoy, and please feel free to join in. Those of you who I didn't have a flikrmail addie for..start posting!

It's limited uploads at the moment. Reason being I find that groups that have like a hundred new photos added every day (coz we all know that everyone's going to be stampeding to get their vessels on there right? ) rather overwhelming. I'm more interested in quality over quantity allowing time for everyone to really enjoy the photos in an unhurried fashion -where little gems won't get 'lost' in the fray- rather than a gazillion images flashing before your retinas
(probably because I'm Gen X, not Gen Y... or just call me a control freak).

Yet more red...no, not fingerless gloves, or even legwarmers (which this sock is starting to feel like).
No I fear that, like the slippers, these socks are going to be enormous. But I am enjoying the seed stitch gutters.


black, white + red

There's something about self-imposed penury to give one an uncontrollable urge to bust out the credit card.

When I say penury, it's more like enforced saving.
As in every single cent from now on must go in to the home deposit.
Every. Single. Cent.

You can only don the hair shirt of fiscal matyrdom for so long before you go utterly berserk.

So I was up on King St doing some errands, with a big corporate meeting in Melbourne looming the following day and of course I have nothing to wear do I? I really do need a new black skirt for it. And I love the hand-screened print. And it is on sale. And oh look, there's an original edition of Michael Cunningham's 'The Hours' with a beautiful August Sander photo on the cover instead of that yukky still from the movie adaptation (don't you hate that?). And oh you know, I really have to get some bright red sock yarn.

And on it goes.

The socks..first pair of socks and I'm just blindly going in. Little bit like my approach to home ownership really.

Except that I can say the pattern I'm following stipulates a "continental cast on".
A quick google yields a tutorial
What can I say? An accompanying commentary would help.
A couple of evenings and more than a few crazy messes (one of which resulted in a sock top that could double as a hat..I know they say continental gives a stretchy edge but that was ridiculous) later I give up and revert to good old standard cast on.

The yarn feels a tad scratchy but it is red and therefore a bit of "happy on my needles".

The other reds collection is the current search for the perfect shade of rust/red oxide/ red ochre for some bits n pieces I'm designing for Melbourne.

And....I just want to finish by saying how much I'm enjoying seeing others' contributions to vessel wednesday. It's endlessly fascinating and exciting to me to see what started as a purely whimsical personal excercise take on such a different form. It's #3 on my 'To Do' list to set up a flikr group this weekend, after which I'll let you all know when it's up!

Have a good weekend.


black + white

Inspired by bugheart, Fritz Hansen series 7 knock-off (with yarn) because frankly, that's about as much knit content there's going to be around here for a wee while (unless I trawl through the archives of great disasters of 2006! which could be pretty amusing).

And in mortification news..Kate has tagged me! Gargh! Oh yes she thought she could get around me with flattery, but I'm wise to her ruse...

Frankly when I saw the 'brief' was six weird things about oneself, I thought, well..where do I start? Should I consult the Goat for a short-list? Wouldn't it be easier to do "Six Least Weird Things"?

But to oblige...

I'm named after Carson McCullers. A brilliant fiction writer, but also rather a sad alcoholic one. Thanks Mum!

The second or third book I learned to read was Monty Python's Big Red Book (which is actually blue) and which accounts for my essentially absurdist sense of humour and also probably why most people don't get my jokes, which makes for lots of awkwardness.

I am arachnophobic.

I once had to pick up Wilhelmenia Fernandez from her swish hotel in my ''79 Honda Civic (spray painted about 10 different shades of gold) and take her to a costume fitting. Years later, trading in that Honda, in my efforts to up the trade-in price I told the dealer "Don't you know Wilhelmenia Fernadez's ass has been on that seat? Don't you know she used the mirror to check her makeup? Don't you know you could rip that out and sell just the seat for that price"?!
It didn't work.

My left ear is about a centimetre lower than my right.
But that's probably not so weird, most people are asymmetric.

When I was little I loathed onion with a passion and found that the inch wide rim of our Arabia Ruska dinner plates (helpfully illustrated below for the non-cognoscenti of Arabia Ware)

were a perfect receptacle for allllll the little bits of onion hiding in the dinner, especially if evenly spaced forming a ring all the way around.

Ok, kgirl..you're up.



So you know you're really behind the eight ball when your'e reminded that it's vessel wednesday by an update shooting down your Bloglines feed tube (courtesy of Alison, who incidentally has a fine array, check it out if you haven't already)

Today's offering is a citrus juicer by tonfisk brought all the way back from Finland by the everlovin' Goat a few years ago.

I love the way the cylindrical spout is expressed and the forms remind me of Ruth Duckworth's modernist ceramics. (I saw an exhibition of her porcelain work at the Chicago Cultural Centre a couple of years ago the same day as I visited Farnsworth House... and the forms seemed to resonate somehow).

But I have to say..as beautiful as this vessel is, it actually doesn't work that well. So much for "Form follows function"!



So the Goat and I (Ashley, you're not the only one to shoulder the burden of queenliness)
have started seriously looking at apartments to buy.
Oh, I've looked at properties on and off over the years, but it's usually been more like flirting with no intention to marry.

Now it's serious.

Brokers, rates...variable,fixed,square metreage, offsets, blah blah blah... Seriously, I al
ready feel like my mind is either going to implode, expode or just squirt out my ears, and we've only just begun.

We've sort of come to terms with not being able to afford a house...but lo! I'm sure I could convince these fabulous people at the knitting site to help knit us one! Just some 30 - 40 mm needles, a truckload of acrylic (waterproof, natch!), lash onto scaffolding....

And presto!

Good ventilation, north east aspect, sun all day! What more could you want? Warm cosy cottage, yet industrial chic!

By the way, the knitting site is well worth checking out; they have links to all sorts of interesting goings-on, like
The Big Draw - an event-filled campaign for public drawing.

And thanks to everyone who congratulated me on my 100th post..a modest milestone perhaps, but a good one nonetheless.



night storm

My 100th post!

And It's a testament to Alison's legion readership that after she posted about vessel wednesday on her blog, my pageoloads went up from the usual average of about 3 to about 200!

So thanks Alison for sharing the blog goodness around.

No knitting to speak of.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thinking about knitting.

Oh, I'm thinking about how nice it would be to do, say an Adrienne Rogers-worthy throw. Or some decadent all-mohair socks (which would be my first pair).

Let's face it La Vie En Camperdown is lurching from one panic attack to the next and to paraphrase the very erudite Knitting Philistine - maybe I "just need some happy on my needles".

But for now, doodling will have to stand in.

So once again due to popular demand (thanks Gwen & Di)....

Just pretend its fibrous.

And the top photo: Late Wednesday afternoon Sydney felt the effects of a cyclone up in Queensland.
Full electrical storm. Very dramatic lighting effects going on in the sky. Goat spotted one very freaked out dog looking lost in the park, so we managed to get her home and call her human (just as well she had an ID tag) Somehow she'd managed to travel over 4 kilometres in the rain without being run over. What a miracle.


True vessel

is what I'm working on.
I'm learning to trust my first instincts with ideas and not labouring them.
I'm taking the falcate -that's my single semester of Horticulture coming back to me- form of a typical gum leaf and slightly symmetrising it (if that's not already a word I'm coining it) and manipulating it into a stylised 'canoe' shape (thanks to photocopies, sticky tape and my new friends at bateau.com).

It's actually a lot like pattern making.
Not even like.

I am an analogue thinker and worker, but you know..I'm OK with it.

Sorry about the tiny glimpse. I suppose it's confidential and hence I probably shouldn't be blogging about it at all! But unless you really want to see another 5 centimetres of black ribbing on Princess, there's not a whole lot left to blog about!

Right, I'm off to watch Shipping News..quite appropriate really. Happy vessel wednesday everyone



After my superchunk experience of The Clogs -double stranded DK yarn on 9mm needles-
going back to the Princess after all this time - double stranded laceweight on 2.25mms, no I don't think I have a fetish for double stranded-
well it feels like knitting with cobweb on pins.

But these... these...

They redefine teensy tinyness.

By comparison Princess is nautical rope on tree trunks.



I've been researching bark canoes
And trying to develop a visual language in my head.
Thinking about abstraction
Thinking a lot about weave, stickwork, free-forms.
About marrying ideas of water with gum leaves without being corny.

Doodling while I'm on the phone talking about i
When I came out of the State Library yesterday after an exhaustive search into canoe making, I serendipitously walked into this sculpture:
You know when something concrete absolutley echoes and resonates with your mental process?
Well this was one of those times.

I really like the honest roughness of the texture and how the free-form 'geometry' of the sticks lends itself to ideas of leaf veining.

But...I've already forgotten (gah!) the artist's name. Right now my mind is an aluminium sieve, as opposed to a steel trap.

If any Sydneysiders know who did this piece, please let me know.