Part of the exhibition "Undir berum himni = Under the open sky"
Great pictures of the Warp of Fate that a friend, Ólafur Jón took. It has already rained and been windy so Warp has survived so far. I am very pleased that this piece is where it is and very thankful to the owner of the house that kindly let me have holes drilled into her precious house to be able to mount the warp.
It is of importance that the Warp of Fate is situated at Urðarstígur named by Urður or Urd one of the three Norns of Destiny in old Norse mythology. Urður for past , Verðandi for present and Skuld for the future.
In Iceland we should be able to learn from the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately barely the majority of voters in Iceland have have in this year 2013 given us back the people that made it possible for Iceland to go bankrupt 5 years ago! The governing forces of Iceland are now arrogant people who will not learn from their fellows' mistakes.
I span the wool during the winter of the financial collapse of Iceland, 2008-09 and warped it.
Part of the exhibition "Muu maa = Other country"
I am very concerned about the Icelandic goat race and have wanted for quite a while to make art for the goats. Part of my concept is to make art from discarded material. The goat works are made from the coarse hair of goats, material that is left when it has been dehaired from the cashmere that is a desired material. Also discarded wooden boards and old desk tops. The name of the work is The Last Goat of Iceland. That would be the most frightful thing, if the goats vanish from earth because humans can't take care of precious things.
I visited a goat farm. Ronin vuohitila in central Finland I feel that even if the Icelandic goats are closest to my heart I should visit goats around the world when possible. And it is always worth it. Especially when you go to farms where the goats are well treated and they are lovable and curious creatures. Goats are very sociable and curious animals where ever you go in the world. These goats were adorable and they looked at me, nibbled at my clothes and shoelaces to get the taste of my person. There are around 6000 of the suomivuohi, the Finnish goat today. So they are not an endangered species which is so good.
The Icelandic goat species is an endangered species and counting between 800 and 900 animals now. That is why I am making art about goats, to present them to the world.
There should be more goats around and goats' milk. People who can't tolerate cows' milk are often fine with goats' milk. Different proteins. Instead of processing soy beans or something else and turning it into pretend milk I think it is much wiser to just milk a goat. Unless people are vegans.
On this farm were also two horses. They were both of the Suomen hevonen race which is a very gentle horse race and good worker. Only about 500 suomen hevonen horses are working horses today. Horses are excellent workers in the forest during winter as they destroy much less that the tractors. More pictures of the Suomen hevonen
and here too
I have more goat pictures here.
I like this image. Actually photographed it myself in the late afternoon when the sun is hovering above the horizon just about to set.
These are the crosses that make the giant cross stitch goat "The last Goat".
There has been progress with the last goat. Not only the work I have done but SPRING is here and the grass around the great cross stitch goat is growing and it is of course GREEN and keeps growing and the question is how much should I allow the grass to grow? Should it cover the goat? The whole idea behind this work is the endangered goat species of Iceland. I have done some practical non artistic work (is work ever non artistic?) searching for cashmere in Iceland as you can see on my goat/cashmere site: http://weberstrasse-cashmere.weebly.com/
The two other pieces are made with old desktops, wall cladding, and last but not least hand spun goat-hair-thread. I try to stick to the reusing, recycling, up-cycling idea.
The big goat on the ground is akin to the Great White Horse of Uffington
The Great Goat of Iceland or The Last Goat of Iceland as its correct name is, could be akin to the mythical goat Heiðrún. That is a good thought.
A giant goat in progress. In order to make it I tore the cladding of this gable which was due as the house is being made up. In this way I am using "rags" as I am accustomed to.
I am making a crossstitch goat with 3 esses.
This work has proved to be physically exhausting but very enjoyable to step out of one's usual box which is the loom and rags and make this instead. The work (not the gable though) will be part of the summer exhibition at Haihatus art centre in Joutsa, Finland. perhaps the gable should be part of the exhibition? It is a splendid idea!
I made a goat pattern for knitting or cross stitch embroidery a few years ago. And now I am working with the this pattern in different ways. This in one work. The cross stitch is made with yarn spun from the coarse hair of the goats that I have been combing in the past few years. I want to create more goat art and am thinking of various ways to express my concern for the Icelandic goat race.
I have learned to make an yul tide ornament that is called Himmel in Swedish which means Heaven.
Himmel in German and Himinn in Icelandic and Taivas in Finnish. This ornament is still called Himmeli in Finnish.
I learned to make it with plastic drinking straws but originally a Himmel is made with straw of Rye or Oat.
Mine is narrow and not as impressive as the real ones that were made for the yul-tide in former days and then burnt in the midsummer bonfires, only to make a new one after harvesting for the following yul-tide.
I have been busy building crosses that will structure a piece of Goat Art, Icelandic Goat Art that I am preparing these days. I make goat art in order to make the endangered Icelandic Goat Race more visible. The wood in the crosses comes from cladding from a house that is being made up. The cladding was meant to be disposed of so I am still in up-cycling, apart from the himmel I made. But who is perfect? Not I.
My mother kindly knitted a shawl for me from the yarn that was spun in a mini mill in Norway from Icelandic goat down. The hair is called cashmere but as the goats in Iceland have never been bred for anything particular their soft down is of different length. Not the desired minimum of 4 cm. The yarn that Telespinn span for me in Norway is therefore second class yarn, containing bits of the coarse hair which first class cashmere yarn should not contain.
Icelandic goats are an endangered species it means there are not many of them they are now around 815. It is impossible at time being to start breeding goats here only for their hair, but it will hopefully be done in due time when the goats are 2500 and less threatened.
But never the less the yarn is lovely and expensive due to the cost of the spinning.
The shawl is lovely and light and very precious.
As far as I know this is the first shawl ever to have been knitted out of Icelandic goats' down.
That is one more step on the way to save the Icelandic goats.
I am thinking. A lot. The image depicts the colours I am thinking about. Actually I am also planning a different kind of material too. Upholstery woven of wool based on older upholstery. While I think I cut rags into strips, I sew and do a bit of book keeping. Practical things that have to be done and good to use the opportunity while the next piece is still unraveling itself in my head. Apart from this thinking I am preparing a short talk about the cashmere obtained from the Icelandic goats.
For the first time there will be an official Day of the Icelandic Goat on November 30th. There will be a few talks about different aspects concerning the Icelandic endangered goat in the National Museum of Iceland next Friday, i.e. tomorrow.
I have been mentioning this on Facebook and used the picture below of a bowing goat as bait. ;)
If you didn't know before I can tell you that there is a Weberstrasse site on facebook too. It contains more or less the same stuff as this blog. But there you can "like" stuff. The option here is to write a comment if you care to.
Work awaits. Take care until next blog.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.