Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oak and Pond I :: Float

I squealed a little when I unwrapped this one. Two oak leaves wrapped in cotton and left in the pond for about 7 weeks. It is my most successful act of patience and fabric to date. The darkest areas are the marks of sediment settled directly onto the fabric. The oak leaves rolled around themselves and the fabric made a repeat of vertebrae - a spine stretched out. The pond as dye pot made this - all the little life that lives there making an impression, with the help of a couple of oak leaves. There is nothing I can stitch on this to make me like it more.

A favorite thing of summer for my family has been floating on the pond. When I float I am looking up at the sky, my back and spine long and straight, my arms are stretched out and in the water. I move arms over my head and then back down to my sides to propel, slowly. I am symmetry and balance - centered. There is a raft under me - arms and hands in the water - dragonflies land on my knees and toes. The fish, insects, animals, the water and life within it are supporting me, holding me up and I wonder what it all looks like from below - the concentric circle ripples where I touch the surface of the water. The music - along with the birds singing and hot buzz of insects - is this...

All of these together are this summer to me - the floating, the pond, the music and the oak and pond print - are forever related in my mind. They are this amazing summer we have had - that is not over yet. This pond has swept us off our feet. From my 7-year-old son, "I wish we could take our pond wherever we go."

My pond and oak leaf print was inspired by the techniques I have read in India Flint's wonderful book - Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles.


  1. Hi Susan, that is sublime - both the music and your evocation of floating there - how lucky you are, and what a wonderful print, thank you

  2. Remarkable cloth and beautiful words, Susan. I felt like I was swimming, too.

  3. Kat - thank you - this summer have left me feeling blessed and lucky in many ways. this print is what will remind me

  4. it will. this is how it will
    live forever. if anything at all,
    maybe a very small image at the
    bottom to represent the Pond for
    your son........
    so tender, this post.