When the “Mother Earth” theme for the 2013 International Free Form Fiberarts Guild Challenge was voted on by the members, I knew that I wanted to come up with something big. A big freeform crochet project. Every year the Yahoo group hosts a virtual challenge, and all 2000+ members are welcome to suggest themes and enter the challenge, which is posted online and books-on-demand are available for order. I would never get any new work done if it wasn’t for show deadlines and challenges. I always create a new freeform garment for each year’s challenge.
So I began to contemplate the idea of Mother Earth. For me, the immediate impression I got was of Mother Earth as a nurturing tree. This is the blurb I wrote to accompany the photo of my piece Her Roots Go Down on the website and in the book:
I have felt a special affinity for trees since I was a child. I picture Mother Earth as a stoic, nurturing tree with strong roots to ground her, and branches to embrace the wind, provide cooling shade, and a safe home for wildlife. My entry this year is my homage to the funky pictorial and organic freeform crochet of the 1970s and to expressions of native folk art. With just a crochet hook, I can create anything my imagination dreams up.
The name was inspired by a Sarah Pirtle song titled “My Roots Go Down”, which I remembered from when my children were small. I found a version of this song on YouTube by The Seedy Seeds, and it’s rather nice. It’s folky and sweet, and you should listen to it.
I entered Her Roots Go Down in the juried Ventura County Arts Council art exhibit, Tactile: Art to Be Touched – Gently. The reception for the exhibit was on Friday evening, June 14, 2013. Awards were given for first, second, and third places, as well as three honorable mentions. I won Third Place, which also included a monetary award.
Here are photos of the piece: one of me modeling it, and the rest are of the display at the art exhibit. (I purchased the armless artsy mannequin from my friends at Green Art People in Ventura, and I spray painted her with hammered silver finish paint.)