This afternoon I will be working with the 5th and 6th grade students at Brooksville Elementary School. They are currently studying geography, but as more than just places on the map. The kids are learning about how geography affects people (and how we in turn affect the places we live.) They're studying food, industry and art. I am the art part. We'll be discussing how most artists are in some way inspired by their surroundings - not necessarily landscapes - the big picture (so to speak.)
My work is directly connected to where I live. I create lovely cloth directly from my surroundings. I use ocean water and found copper and iron in my cloth preparation. All of my prints are made with local plant material. The predominant colors are greys, yellows, greens and browns - some purple-mauve too. They are the colors of this place. I've read about eco-printers who order eucalyptus (which print a range of reds and purples) from the florist. I've resisted the temptation and focus heavily on the bio-regional resources of the Maine Coast.
The class will be printing two pieces of cloth - one silk and one linen - with plants gathered from the playground area. I have pre-mordanted the cloth but carry with me my rusty iron and vinegar soaked pennies for demonstration purposes. The students will be making the bundles. To save the wrath of the kitchen staff, I'll bring the bundles home and steam the silk and simmer the linen. We'll unwrap on Monday and they'll be hanging in the classroom by Friday of next week!!
PS - I am banging my head against the wall with the particulars of e-commerce - each piece listed in my shop also comes with a note on how to actually purchase it. I'm working out the bugs (and fees).