Some details around here on a cold, still winter’s day.
Some details around here on a cold, still winter’s day.
When our dear friend and talented videographer/photographer, Nancy Bell (@truenancy), visited last summer she captured pieces of our life in the shop + studio and on the land. She prompted us with the perfect questions, wove in some of my photos and sprinkled cousin Asa Iron’s guitar magic throughout. The collaborative process of creating this video has offered space for reflection and clarity. And we happen to be tickled with the end result, too!
(Side note: What this video may not fully convey is that working together is not without its challenges. We’ve both quit many times, claiming to be done! Through it all, Ruben and I have logged many a raw, real conversations. We’ve discovered the value of being open, clear, honest and direct and we’ve grown individually and as a duo because of this. My we’ve come a looooong way, baby! Wonder what’s around the corner…)
On until May 14th at the Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Excerpt from your exhibition catalogue:
Fences parcel and weave together rural lives and landscapes. They keep livestock and crops apart and safe, and neighbours neighbourly. Expressing ownership and control, they partition inside from outside, yours from mine, permissible from forbidden. Gates are a necessary feature of fence lines, maintaining borders, yet tempting transgression. Given the current global climate of fear and separation, this fence and gate with imagery reflecting on rural outmigration and the collapse of small farms, is an elegy and challenge to re-imagine rural life in Nova Scotia. Fencelines also invites the audience to cross the threshold of ones own intimate boundaries.
These small bowls evolved in design over years until we found a form that we loved just so. I was holding one a few weeks ago, feeling its weight and shape and presence cradled in my hands. I became aware of the ebb and flow inside of me in my day-to-day experience, from moments of great struggle to expansive, clarity and inspiration. I smiled to myself. And then I walked across the driveway to Ruben’s shop. “Can you make chisels in the shape of moon phases?”, I asked.
In honour of the cycle that moves oceans. In honour of the waxing and waning of self and collective evolution. In honour of all sacred objects made by hand with heart.
A small stack of these beauties are heading with me to Vancouver Island for a sacred gathering of women under the New Moon at Roundhouse Farm on October 30th, 2016 (still a few spaces remaining!). The lunar bowl is also now available at our R+R Handmade shop on Etsy. Made by hand and finished with raw beeswax, each bowl is one-of-a-kind. Oh, and we embrace wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic celebrating imperfection:).
Thanks for taking a peak at our process!
Last week when Yula and I were colouring together we birthed an idea, a collaborative one that grew and morphed and had us giggling and excited. The next day we set our idea in motion (see above). The idea is evolving and growing in meaning. For now, we are each creating a daily ink drawing and then swapping to bring colour to each other’s images. Draw, swap, colour.
From Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer:
“But some invented a different story, a social construct in which everything is a commodity to be bought and sold. The market economy story has spread like wildfire, with uneven results for human well-being and devastation for the natural world. But it is just a story we have told ourselves and we are free to tell another, to reclaim the old one.
One of these stories sustains the living systems on which we depend. One of these stories opens the way to living in gratitude and amazement at the richness and generosity of the world. One of these stories asks us to bestow our own gifts in kind, to celebrate our kinship with the world. We can choose. If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.”
This morning I chose to experience and be a part of the gifts in motion in my backyard. I surrendered, with eyes wide-open, to the great unfurling that is taking place on the forest floor and in the trees and inside of me. So many ways to emerge, open and become. Along the way, I foraged fiddleheads for supper for the first time. I then slid into the cabin by the brook and lay in the bed, drifting in and out of sleep.
“We say that people have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn – we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance. Their wisdom is apparent in the way that they live. They teach us by example. They’ve been on this earth far longer than we have been, and have had time to figure things out. They live both above and below ground, joining Skyworld with the earth. Plants know how to make food and medicine from light and water, and then they give it away.” Braiding Sweetgrass
This morning I drove to Wallace to visit my new friend at La Finquita (the little farm). When I met Silvana a year ago, I could feel a pull from some far out/deep inner place to further connect. Trusting in the weaving of life and experience, today was the day. Gaia gifted me with a snow-melting 10 degrees C after a weekend of -32 windchill. Silvana generously welcomed me into her world. We meandered through her biodynamic collaboration with the land. Orchards. Energy wheels. Gardens. A passive solar greenhouse. A library of seeds. An in-depth knowledge of wild edibles.
To say I was and am inspired is a colossal understatement. Our conversation flowed from the nitty gritty teachable, touchable bits of shared info that only hands-on experience can offer (like tricks for separating various seeds from their chaff), to sharing our unique embodied intentions when interacting with the land and animals, seeds and vegetables. I could feel passionate, abundant life moving through me and all around me. And to be able to connect with another from this open, enlivened place is perhaps the most meaningful part of it all. This is what sacred is to me.
Leaving, this is what caught me attention on the 1 mile drive from Silvana’s driveway to the Wallace Bridge:
My bag of Arugula, Mache, Peppergrass, Garden Sorrel and garlic chives from La Finquita’s magical greenhouse on my dashboard. Deer and fog. Exposed ground after lots of snow. Lobster shells as fertilizer covering farm fields. Myself in the rearview mirror, lit up beyond belief in my open, creative process. Fencelines. My way home.
The piece of humanity that I am is opening to new ways of expressing and interconnecting, with vast space for elements of the ancient to move forward into the now. Some other things that are currently and profoundly stoking my fire:
The Rural Consciousness Project presents Renaissance Women. My gentle, fierce tribe of powerhouse women and I are holding space for an otherworldly 5-day collaborative experience in Hawaii Apr 18-23. Amidst all that is not working in the world today, “life itself wants to go on. Once you get on that sort of wavelength then you, too, participate in this tidal change of creativity” (Joanna Macy). There are two spaces remaining. Come be part of this life-awakening tsunami.
Unplug. My courageous, visionary friend just released her first book and I highly recommend it. Here is a moving, unedited clip of Deb Ozarko opening a copy of her own book. Our world needs more of this!
A Short film interviewing Joanna Macy who stares into our times with a clarity and awareness that resonates inside of me. “It’s that knife edge of uncertainty where we come alive to our truest power.”
Katie Belcher. Our first artist in residence! Check out my friend’s exquisite work. I’m excited to have her diving into her next series of drawings in my studio while keeping our chickens company for the month of April. This handmade family is heading on a Walkabout, an epic adventure of gathering inspiration while connecting with Ohana in Nayarit, Mexico and Oahu, Hawaii. Pinch me!
The other ‘R’ in this ongoing, wild collaboration of life, parenting, art and business that we call R+R Handmade. Ruben is featured in Eastern Alternative and I’m moved by his real, honest reveal of his process and thoughts. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear from him next. We plan to pass this blog back and forth, here and there. Hope you’ll come back for more!