Sunday, August 13, 2017

Capilano Watershed Tour

This was a 4 hour tour looking at the Cleveland Dam with new eyes; learning about the things floating in the south end of the reservoir; traveling to the north end of the reservoir & seeing the old sites of the early days of water diversion; & finally visiting Rogers Lake which has unique trees & nesting marbled murrelets [which we didn't see].
It was a very smokey day, so vistas were hazy.

This is a photo of the old gorge into which the dam was placed.
Right now there is upgrading work on the spillway. It was really breath-taking to hear about all the monitoring of the dam structure, the water chemistry & water levels, the management of 4 fish species which is highly complex involving transporting fish at various stages.
More amazing was that all this monitoring is going on many times a day. This is where my taxes go & it's going on while I am not informed enough to know I need it!
I did feel the gratitude of being well cared for.

This was a pool below the dam. I was surprised by how white the rocks were. They are bedrock, scoured by glaciers of the ice age.
We piled into a school bus to journey up the east side of the lake. 
Later we will go off at right angles to the east.
We were in deep forest with lots of moss in trees, dark understory. In many ways it reminded me of parts of the Vancouver Island rainforests. Looking up I could a few times glimpse mountains. We crossed power lines several times. I couldn't figure out how many 'lines' crossed the mountain.

This is the north end of the reservoir.
Nearby evidence of sluices & gates...

....& other human activities requiring equipment.

This area is where the silt was removed from the water in the early days.
Now the Capilano watershed water goes through Grouse Mountains  by tunnel to the Seymore facility that takes any turbidity called "rock flour" out of the water. This flour is the silt left over from from the glacial scouring of all the river valleys in the Lower Mainland. It shows up in the water after heavy rains & landslides. The water is also treated by ultra violet light to remove bacteria. The water then comes back to Capilano by gravity. Hydro power is gathered on the return to supply the energy needed for the uphill trip. It's a convenient loop.
A few years ago there was a big landslide in the Capilano system & we all had pretty cloudy water for a few weeks until the silt settled out. That will not happen any more since Seymore treats that water.

This is clearly a huge old pipe for water transport.
This is the staircase up to the caretaker's home at the north end of the reservoir.  They had great lawns & a laurel hedge, now faint memories.
On the far side of the photo is the edge of the concrete foundation of the caretakers' house.
Look down, look around & bingo! Archeology!

We then went up the east arm of the Capilano River to a lake, Rogers Lake, which is a back-up water source. It is sometimes used to cool off the Cap Reservoir when it gets too hot. This is to reduce bacterial growth in the water. [Who knew?] There are two other lakes up there, Cascade Lake & another.

I just loved the filtration system at the end of this lake before it drained into the east arm of the upper Capilano River.

I wished that I could have seen more of the forest. The bus structure made photography difficult.
Anyway I saw old wood everywhere! 

We saw plenty of bankings that looked like this: lateral moraine & rocks rounded by glacial tumbling.
This tour is free. I will do it again for sure because I found it so fascinating. There are tours into the Seymore facility too.

The last photo goes to Chief Joe Capilano who went to England to negotiate with the King. Capilano means beautiful river. The chief did not get what he wanted, I think.

That's all for now.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


I have had a little rash of posts.
That was fun for me & I hope for others.

Now I have some Left-Over Quilts that were 'left out'.
So I feel a need for them to be shown/shared.

This first one was done at Haystack School for Art & Craft on Deer Island in Maine. This is my quilt done about Dorothy's shoes on the Yellow Brick Road.  It amused me greatly that I didn't get the shoes 'right'.  I went to an unreliable source for shoe image information!!
The next one, simple, unusual, & 1-of-a-kind.
I sold it in a flash, with a mix of hand dyed & commercial cloth, beading added. I have no idea why I didn't go for another, another & another & another!! 
I called this one below The Double X Snow Blanket.
I made it in response to a painting my sister Lynne did.
Do I have an image of that painting?
It's somewhere, but where?
But is was a much loved by me.
Here's a detail first...

Now, doesn't that feel like winter snowfall?

And for jazzy opposites.
I loved this hairy image-- the zesty dancers-- & the daring of the whole thing!
I took oil paint sticks to the applique zigzag figures after the quilt-top was assembled.
Talk about the nerve!!
Believe me, it took daring!

This quilt ended up in Leslie Alexander's home.
There is a mirror on the right, hence the reflection.
This was done in a period where I was exploring long forms.
My Giacometti Period!
Art historians, take note!!
There were quite a few other quilts in that period.... 

So recently, I am happy to have anew this image!! 
Thank you Eileen Wilson!
I made this paper& leaves quilt for her & didn't photograph it when I made it!!

This quilt is in a utterly traditional diagonal format.
Alternating squares have leaves in them...
The others have leaf impressions & leaf dyes in them..
That's it for now.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Unusual & Special Work

Over the course of my life some quilts were either change-makers, made for special purpose, or on a track that was not repeated.

The first one was inspired by learning from Barbara Heller how to do batik. I bought a special brush in 'Chinatown' & started to work on foot-square white pieces of cotton broadcloth. I called it Sea Foam. My rule for each square was '3  brush-stroke ideas'.

Actually I did make another of these for Lesley Trivett. And eventually I gave the Sea Foam quilt to Leslie Alexander. By that time it had faded greatly & looked like this.
I have this quilt now.
This next one I called In a Kite Sky. My inspiration were the sky colors I so often saw crossing the Lion's Gate Bridge.
Inspired by a book of tangram figures Anna Banana got me in Holland, I made a quilt by stenciling dancers onto black cloth.
 HenceTangram Dancers.
[Tangrams are made using only 7 shapes: 2 squares, 1 parallelogram, & 4 triangles. The simplest puzzle done with them is creating a square.]

This quilt also faded!
I never got decent photos of the front of the quilt below. I made this one by printing on whole-cloth using acrylic paint & a chopstick for the dots. I was totally in love with Aboriginal Australian work, having been newly introduced to it.
The quilting from the back was so lovely.

This quilt happened because of a confluence. Stephen Denslow used dancing images somewhat like this. I made stampers for heads, hands, lips, eyes & leaves; patterns for pants, shirts, dresses, & trees. I think I also found some sequined stars for the sky. Naomi Wortis was marrying Homer Passi & this was my gift to them. She said they had danced under the sky in Zaire (then) when she was in the Peace Corps there.

Another stencil project, this time while working with indigo dye.
The central blue rectangle is one piece of cloth. The plier stencil was applied first with cassava paste so the pliers are the whitest. The shears where applied after one dying session, hence they are light blue.
The border was an unfortunate artistic decision!
I never got a photo of the whole finished quilt below. This project was done as a farewell gift to a beloved vice-principal when she left Moberly School. Each teacher was given a square piece of paper, good scissors, & hole punches to work with. Our work zone was, over a period of time, in the staff room.  I silk-screened each 'snow flake' onto a cotton square & onto a hand made paper sheet. With the paper a book was made & a page for each participating teacher who could say goodbye to Sandra Philips in his/her own words.

A classroom project with spatter paint & student made butterflies was done in that period. It hung in the staffroom after I left the school.
2 chicken quilts.
#1 inspired by a greeting card with this sort of chicken.

Chicken Quilt #2 done in a hand stitching class with Dorothy Caldwell. Each day I made a different chicken. At then end of the course she had us do an exercise where we sewed with our 'wrong' hand while blindfolded. Hence the chicken track stitching!

Watersnakes filmed off the coast of Madagascar were the thing that really made this quilt take off. The 'background' was a whole-cloth paste-resist dying that included the leaf stencil used 4 times.
(Sorry, I should have cropped away the black. I hung it on a black cloth to photograph it.)
I took apart some Peruvian dolls, because I was curious about what they were made of & how they were assembled. What I discovered gradually was that ancient textiles were being sewn into 'tourista dolls'.  (That's a  bit of a scandal.) Old Textiles, New Text was what I called it. But it was also a new context!

See those super shapes below? Armhole offcuts from Maiwa shirts! (I have a shirt from that cloth.) The color choices came from some marvelous spring bush, hence an overall floral theme.

I include this image below because it so clearly shows what a difference hand-quilting makes.
For a weaving symposium in Vancouver years ago I 'wove up' two sleeves I had. I wove them into some of my hand-dyed cloth. I had treated the sleeves with a roller grid, so they look textured.

I printed with oak leaves of many varieties. Also this one is one my early forays into machine quilting.

Two body quilts: mine (in a still unfinished piece) (& chopstick dots again for an outline) & Lucy's body from several years ago.

I took a photo of her face & enlarged it for embroidery work, so her features are pretty accurate!

As I have been doing these last 3 blog entries, I am reviewing how much fun each of these projects was. That's good because I have been feeling myself to be in somewhat of a non-productive period. What's compelling to re-cognize is how many different inspiration sources there have been in my 60 years of working with cloth.

That's it for now.