Monday, July 25, 2011

Hearth and Dulse

Peter and I visited Grand Manan up in the Bay of Fundy for the first time in 1996. A honeymoon hung in the sky. We met our friend Don Ritchie, fisherman and dulse collector and solar house builder. He invited us out in his dory one day ("The Wicked Witch" I think) to help him collect dulse. My borrowed boots were too big and I kept slipping on the rocks. We brought home bags of dulse to munch one, but the materiality of it was also beguiling. When you pick dulse, it feels all camera filmy - stiff and plasticy. Then you dry on a stone field you've made in your yard especially for this purpose. Then it becomes airy when it's dry for eating.

When we got home from that trip, I signed up for my first papermaking class at the Women's Studio Workshop with architect and teacher Kumi Korf. I brought in a bag of dulse for the class, and created some handmade pieces of kozo paper with long pieces of dark red dulse embedded in it, with long pieces of unbeaten kozo against a black kozo background.

To the left of my kozo piece is Peter's metal creature sculpture. My friend, the poet Lynn Behrendt, gave me two "magic wands" she welded with stars on the ends for my birthday this year ("since it's your birthday, you get the longer one and Peter can have the other one"). At some point, Peter stuck them into his creature's mouth, and there they sit on the mantle.

Last year for Christmas, Peter dismantled our kitchen mantle, which was covered in this crappy 70s faux brick. He sheetrocked it, and we picked out some excellent colors (although I think I got the top green slightly wrong - it's a little tennisball colored). The bottom color ("Peony Red" - if you knew me - duh) is exactly right.

Honeymoon - Handmade kozo paper with dulse, 12" x 18", 1996

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