Inspiration Clams

I haven't done an inspiration post in too long, just picture posts like the Mushroom Mushroom series. Which may hold some inspiration, but don't immediately set my fingers itching for yarn and loom. But here are some Tridacna clams that are just gorgeous, and they make we want to paint silk ribbon in those colors, run a basting stitch along one side, pull it to ruffle the outside, and use that to weave to lips of the clams, pulled through and standing out from the web of the piece. All images found on Tumblr....

A High Pale Sky

There’s a thing that the sky does here in the rainy season that I had never seen before I moved to Seattle. In Florida, rain clouds are low and dark and heavy, and even when they cover the sky completely, they’re highly textured and variable. But here, when it will rain on and off all day, and maybe it did yesterday and probably it will tomorrow, too, the whole sky is covered with this high, thin, pale layer of clouds, backlit and brighter than it ought to be. People talk about how gloomy Seattle is in the rain, but that tall glowing ceiling lets in more light than the storm clouds I knew for most of my life. If you don’t stop at look at it, it can look like it’s nearly flat, all one color. But if you do stop, you see the variations, the texture, like hand-blended fiber that’s gone into one dyebath and the silk and the wool and the alpaca all picked up the color a little differently. Not an even blend, but with whorls and bunches and bits of lighter or darker or warmer or cooler tones. My poor photography skills don’t do it justice. It’s so much better than that. I’d love to try to make a fiber blend like that one day, to spin it and weave it, fine and lacy, and build in curves and movement with tapestry techniques....

Inspirations for Today

That is a mansion called Al Makkiah, the family home of architecht Sami Angawi. It's his own design, of course, and marries traditional Islamic elements and crafts with modern construction techniques. The large open central courtyard with pools and fountains is a classic way of cooling a building, of course, and is heightened by the many plants and the drip irrigation system for them, allowing minimal using of air conditioning even in the hot Saudi summers. Dr. Angawi himself is deeply impressive. He’s an historian as well as an architect, and has founded organizations to preserve and teach Islamic culture and history and to preserve traditional architecture. He’s an activist against the extremism he says is trying to hijack Islam. His home is a cultural center. He holds lectures, concerts and salons there, with guests and speakers from around the world. As his legacy, it will be part of an international institute offering degrees in Islamic history and science, and houses a collection of over one hundred thousand of his photos, drawings and writings about Islam and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Here’s a good post on him and his work. I hope that someday I can put a little of the flavor and color of that house into a piece. For now, I’ll just stash those here. My friend SJ Tucker has released her new album Stolen Season. Buy it or listen to it for free at the link. Dream of Mississippi had tears leaking from my eyes with a smile. Southern girl a long way away....