I’ve been exploring California for four days with eyes hungry for inspiration.  While I’m hiking trails, beaches and riverbeds I seem to be always thinking, “What would that look like as a fiber sculpture?”  Each rock on the on the beach flirts with me as if to say, “I’d make a great wrapped rock.  Do you see the way my white stripe creates an interesting line?  You could work with that Dawn.  Pick me up, take me with you and see what happens.”  Until pretty soon I have 15 pounds of rocks in my fanny pack and still have a couple miles to hike back to the car!





There is an unrelenting order in the forest and equally unrelenting disorder.  It resembles life.  I’ve tried forcing myself to be tidy and orderly.  I once graphed out the pattern for connecting Fibonacci spirals on actual graph paper and I knotted it.  I was proud to pull it off.  But now I prefer to let the ends be loose.  Let the cord fall where it may.  Watch the patterns emerge as I make them. 






I’m more interested these days in the process of the construction of the piece.  I don’t even care if I finish the piece.  I’m finding the joy in figuring out how to make the cord do that thing I see in my mind.

I started knotting a box yesterday.  I want it to be a box structure with layers of wrapping that envelope each layer so when it opens it unfold in several ways.  It’s a lofty goal and I have a good start but already see design problems.  And that’s the problem with knotting.  It takes a really long time to get to the point that you realize you should have thought of that hours ago and now it’s either too late to fix or you better get real creative real fast to salvage your hours of work.




Tomorrow I start working with Norman.  I’ll bring my faulty rock box and see what he has to say about it.

And that’s why I’m the luckiest girl in the world.  Time to start making all kinds of mistakes so he can fix em.



Knot School – Day One

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”  Virginia Woolf said that.  I read it in Ann Lamott’s book on the plane traveling to Eureka, CA.  Today I begin a mentorship in sculptural knotting with artist Norman Sherfield.  I’m grateful I read that because I’ve been trying to frame my mind around how to approach this mentorship and that sums it up for me.


So this morning instead of wondering if I’m good enough or creative enough or if what I make will be interesting or total crap I’m thinking, “I’ll just arrange whatever pieces come my way.


Here are my tools.  Ready, Set, Go.