mycology is my hobby

Collecting, Preparing...

This last week, I started preparing for my trip to Iceland in October. I didn't know where to start so I started with the practical things, what to bring, what to pack. I learned a few interesting things, that I should bring my own cold medicine, it's difficult to find, and that a bathing suit is a must, because in the words of a blogger, "swimming is socializing" in Iceland. 

When I was looking up the town of Siglufjordur, I found a lovely picture of the Herhusid house where I'll be staying, from the website of a previous resident, Julia Lohmann. She even had pictures of an incredible haul of mushrooms! It's like destiny.

:: The Herhusid House, which will be my home in October ::
:: another view, in the show from resident and poet, Mark Wunderlich ::

Siglufjordur is in the Northwest part of the island, the country's northernmost town in fact. It is 40 km from the Arctic circle and is home to about 1300 people. The town has a great deal of history connected to the herring industry, it was only connected by road to the rest of the island in 1940. 

:: Siglufjordur, the town where I'll be staying ::

I am in awe of the landscape already.

:: Wren feathers, ceramic, and shell ::

As my departure comes closer, I'm thinking more and more about what I will be creating. I don't know for sure what it will look like, but I do know I want to observe and collect, think and write, and I'm very much looking forward to it.


A friend asked me recently what I'm currently inspired by and I replied "things that look like other things." Not the most eloquent response, I'll work on that, but it's true. I've been looking at these images, as well as others, a great deal, photographs that exhibit the phenomenon of the repetition of forms in the manmade and natural world.

Neighbors and Books

I went to Delaware yesterday to drop off some work for a show, "Neighbors" at Project Space.
Wilmington, DE. This group show is an eclectic group of artists, who have all been neighbors at one time or another. I feel very lucky to be part of this show, which includes the work of Catherine Maloney, Ruth Ansel, and Sutton Hays.

If you are in the neighborhood, the opening details are:

Project Space
2003 West 17th Street
Wilmington, DE 19806
Friday, February 1st 5pm to 8pm

Should be a great show.

While I was there, I went to the thrift store and found this treasure. 

:: mushrooms and magic, yes please ::

 :: title page with sweet little mushroom drawings ::

:: I see russulas, morels, boletes, and more! ::

I also went to my parent's house and dug out a few of my own children's books, I'll be posting more of them later. This one is Rocks and Gems. I remember looking at it many times.

 :: I love that little earth core slice ::

 :: rocks and gems ::

Winter Colors

I was so lucky to have been invited to spend a weekend with friends in the Catskills, NY. We went for a walk and I looked for for critters and treasures. No critters (well, I did see some little kinglets) but many treasures...

:: red lichen blossoms ::

:: golds and reds ::

:: layers of mushrooms and lichens ::

:: who lives here? ::

:: hello, bright little mushroom ::

:: shards of ice ::

I think winter is my favorite season.

blue beautiful blue

My color of the moment seems to be blue. Grey blues, indigo blues, navy blues. For my last class of the summer, I took a weaving class with Janet Taylor, a textile artist and weaver. She makes beautiful work, and I must say, is one the sweetest, most generous teachers I've ever had. It was such a perfect way to end the summer...

In that class, I wove a scarf to look like graph paper. What originally inspired this project was a Shaker kerchief I saw in a book that was a simple grid pattern woven out of fine linen.

graph paper scarf :: handwoven linen and cotton

I did some weaving in college and enjoyed it, but never felt I made anything with a personal look to it. As simple as it is, I feel like this scarf does just that. I hope to spend more time in the weaving studio this winter.

Around the same time as I was making the scarf, my friend Erika also asked me if I would make a book using graph paper and goats. I think this is the most fun commission I've ever been asked to do. So good! I'm working on it right now and I'll give you a sneak peek in process.

in progress case bound book

And lastly, I saw this incredible mushroom while walking home yesterday, and I identified it. Done and done.

an indigo milky mushroom

My oh Mycology

I took some pictures of these incredible mushrooms today, coincidentally, a day after buying the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms. I grew up with this book around the house, which I found fascinating because of its glossy black pages and images of strange fungi. It's a beautiful book, slim and tall with dark brown plastic covers. When I go for walks, I love looking for mushroom. Strange little creatures that appear like magic, poking their heads out of the wet leaves after a good rain.

These mushroom are huge by the way. The pinkish white one (chicken of the woods I believe) is about two feet across and the orange one (jack o ' lantern I think) is about three feet.

I'll also share with you some pictures of another field guide to mushrooms soon. It has the most wonderful color palette. I'll also show you some of the weaving I just made... Inspired by graph paper!

Summer is over, so there will be more time to talk about all these wonderful things.