Return to Darkness VIII

art, recent work


Reino’s honeycot under construction; photo by Reino Koivula

Back at Barker by Aura river; Reiska is welding the bottom part of the honeycot, and making a level wooden floor for further construction.
The rug we felted last week was still wet on my return, but dried by sun and wind yesterday.

another sunny day; photo by Reino Koivula

The wool I use comes from a local sheepbreed of Western Sweden – värmlandsfår – kept by Kerstin Danielson and her husband Bo, who live and work in Stockholm. Most of the year, this flock is grazing in a large park-like meadow in the outskirts of Stockholm, but for their summer holidays Kerstin and Bo bring them to the countryside.
The wool comes in colours which Kerstin describes as “black, graphite-grey, chocolate brown, chestnut brown and silvery”, and is extremely apt for felting. Furthermore, Kerstin cleans and combs her sheep before cutting the wool. The hides are packed separately, with the name of the individual sheep written on a slip of paper. So, we choose and mix between pitch-black, silver-tipped “Mats”, whose hair is coarse like the mane of a horse, greyish fluffy “Johanna” or silky coffee-and-milk brown “Karin”…
From Sweden I brought a hand-driven combing machine, kindly lent to me by Lena Hansjons – thanks, Lena! Now Josefiina and I take turns with it, and I start laying out the second rug.

Lena’s combing machine; photos by Reino Koivula

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