bark residency continued

stones wrapped with cane

The wrapped rocks are with cane not bark. I am still working with my bark supply. Having finished with the cherry and birch bark I have been using my supply of willow bark. It is such a lovely material, smells nice, and is pliable and easy to form. Here are some photos

various willow bark vessels with birch and some kind of other bark

of bark revelations.

totems and talismen in birch and cherry

birch explorations

willow talismen

birch bark vase with curly willow

birch circles


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blog post of note

Janine Vangool who is the editor, publisher, and chief cook and bottlewasher of this fabulous magazine, uppercase, posted this in her blog-thank you Janine.



Just came out, excited to see all the work installed.

poster for upcoming installation

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some other completed works

These are some weavings I made for an upcoming basketry guild show. Also hanging is kelp, sweet grass, cordage, and raffia plus some lovely seed pods.

weaving with naturals, pine needles, cattails, prunings

While I have been working on the bark residency I have also finished some other works. The earth circles have proven to be popular and as usual I did not photograph the ones already sold, I never remember to do this before they are gone. One of seal bones and kelp was especially lovely but alas no picture of it.

small earth circle, fir bark, net floats, driftwood

maple, willow earth circle

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bark residency 2017

cherry bark explorations


I decided I would create material residencies in my studio this year. I have lots of different materials I have been waiting to use. Usually the material is used for a one off piece and I wanted time to explore, experiment, and work with the material for an extended period of time, this allows me to really see what the material behaves like, what it can do and become.

cherry bark explorations

The first material to use is bark. I have cherry, willow, and cedar bark to work with. I have just finished a month with the cherry bark. A few pieces will be sold but most are just explorations. It has been really gratifying to experiment with the material and to use it up.

talisman, cherry bark, willow, bone + kelp bobbles

cherry bark purse

cherry bark cylinders












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big winter snows this last week, home bound, roads unplowed, in the studio working on a prototype for a bigger piece, not very happy with the result but through trial and error I now know how I want to proceed. I made the small encaustic pieces just for fun, using up collage papers I made in an encaustic workshop last year.

protoype for memories project, encaustic

protoype for memories project, encaustic

small encaustic works, 3 x 5

small encaustic works, 3 x 5, using stitched paper and collage

small encaustic work, 3 x 5, using tea bags and cheese cloth print

small encaustic works, 3 x 5

small encaustic works, 3 x 5, using papers and a transfer

studio in winter

studio in winter

giant fir

giant fir

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Yeah, we did it!

unabashed bragging, so happy to get this email the other day.

Dear Melanie and Judith,

Thank you for your proposal for a showcase in 2017.

The jury were very taken with your plan, the inspiration behind it, and the many different aspects, and they would like to offer you a showcase for next summer.


I think it will be a fabulous show, visually stunning and with so many elements.

We are thinking that it would be the first showcase of the summer, which means it would open on June 9th and run into July.

I will be in touch in January to go over details  and to discuss the timeline.

Until then, keep working!

Feel free to ask any questions.

All the best

Richard steel (For the Artcraft showcase jury)

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