Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Mention

Vanity strikes! Okay, I googled "Mother Tree Project" to see what was out there. I was delighted to find that my "Friends" posted an entry on their website.

Internet Press

I got a little mention on Mothering Magazine's website yesterday... I wonder if it will bring in more participants? Psst. Pass it on!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Donations are coming in regularly now. It is fun to open the packages and discover what is inside. Thank you to everyone and please keep them coming! My vision is to have the strands starting at the chest be pure and white and as they reach the floor and turn into roots they will change to other fibers and colors.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Model Complete

I finished my 1/4 scale model last week and had it photographed. I'm quite pleased and hope that the real thing will look just as good. How can it not with all of the strands that are coming in as donations? I've got at least 50 strands from all over the US... 'tis exciting! Thank you to everyone who has donated!

I'd like to start collecting stories about what this project means to others, so please comment or send me a story. Here is one I received in the mail with some donated strands...

"The three roots are each made of three strands of cotton – representing the three generations that I currently inhabit – daughter, mother and grandmother. The roots are each 20 feet long, totalling 60 feet - one for each year of life so far. There are glitches in the stitches, purposefully left as imperfections – representing the bumps and missteps along the road of life."

I love this story and sure there are many different stories out there. I hope to hear from you, and I'll share some of my own soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Printed Cards

I have been remiss, but plan to blog more frequently now that this project is starting to take shape. I'm receiving several crocheted strands a week now from wonderful people around the country!

And I'll be hosting several crochet nights in the next few months. Check the listing in the sidebar and let me know if you can come.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beautiful Fibers

Look at these gorgeous strands! A group of 20 women organized by my friend Julie Johnson gathered on a warm summer day and crocheted these strands for The Mother Tree. They used hemp, sisal and jute, and some even dyed the fibers with St. John's Wort flowers and turmeric. I'm so grateful!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mother Tree Announced

I wrote about the project in my May newsletter and got some nice responses: so far there are volunteers in Washington, Oregon and Tasmania who wish to contribute crocheted strands, a Portland crew is forming for some stitch nights in the fall; and Friends of Trees is interested in promoting the project. I went to a crochet convention here in Portland and purchased a lovely crochet needle made from furniture waste in Vietnam and connected with a group which mentors children through stitching. Oh, and this picture is of me and part of my tree...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grant Proposal

I’ve started thinking more and more of a life-sized paper dress coming to life. In the fall, I wrote a grant proposal to make the piece and exhibit it in a public building in downtown Portland. The proposal really took shape and I felt good about it, and tra-la, it was accepted! Here is a brief synopsis of my proposal: 

Nine years ago, a father walked by me as I was nursing my newborn son at the Portland Japanese Garden and pointed me out to his children, stating: “That is one of the most beautiful things in the world.” As a first-time mother, it meant a lot to me -- that he could see beauty in something I took for granted and even hesitated doing in public. My sculpture “Mother Tree” seeks to visually portray my subsequent reflections about that chance encounter. This sculpture serves as a symbol of the vulnerability, strength and sense of community I feel as a mother: vulnerable as a mother learning how to do something with great responsibility for the first time; strong in the knowledge that we mothers can provide our children with everything they need; and in community knowing that mothers before me have nurtured their children and mothers after me will continue to do so.

Mother Tree

I learned to crochet recently (I learned to knit in Germany when I was 16 and coincidentally, a german friend in Seattle showed me the basics of crochet). When I was working on my film Water Paper Time in 2008, I made some more dress pieces with single crocheted strands falling from the breasts. And I started thinking about my roots, literally, not for the first time but in a more visual way and about how I feel as a mother - strong yet uncertain with constant reminders of my childhood coming and going.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I can’t remember the exact genesis of this project, but a couple of years ago I did an installation called Line Dried, in which I hung wet 2’ x 4’ sheets of paper on a line and let them air dry. I then stitched the washers onto one side of each form, creating thread patterns on the other side. The images resemble constellations, plant forms, fireworks, the big bang, etc. – metaphors for conception, growth, birth, life. I see all of these things as magical and mysterious, and this ties into my fascination with paper and the magical and invisible occurrences which take place throughout the papermaking process. I had been thinking a lot about my childhood and my own motherhood (I have a son, Willam, who is nine and a daughter, Lucah, who is seven).