Monday, October 31, 2011

"Last of the Farm/Art DTour and the Merrimac Ferry"

The next "Field Note" was about LAND. What a gorgeous spot to feature this one, eh?

Here is the close up one for easier reading........

This panoramic view was used for the next art installation, too. This one is called "Farmed Framed", by David Wells, of Madison, WI. Yes, he was also the artist who did "Tools of Toil".

The last art installation was "Stonehenge", created by Friede and Associates.

This was extremely cool.

The hay bales were huge but were strongly secured using cables attached to thick iron stakes in the ground. I am sure that if they hadn't been so securely held, they would have been blown over by the wind. This installation was on top of a ridge and the wind was very, very strong the day of our visit.

Our last stop on the DTour was at the Culture Stand created by Phillip Katz, of Mequon, WI. It was ironic that the DTour loop brought us back to the way we entered Reedsburg on our drive into town. We actually passed this stand, which was in the rest area, Highway 23 Wayside, but we hadn't noticed it as we were passing by. To be honest though, the wayside does sit somewhat higher than the highway...... ;)

This was a very cool sign that rotated as the wind direction changed. It was moving quite well that day. This wayside is located on top of a ridge, too, and was getting its fair share of strong wind. :)

My copilot, Don, who planned our exploration route, brought us home via the Merrimac Ferry, which spans the Wisconsin River.

It was a nice quick ride across the river. I was surprised to find out that the ferry is a free service, too.

As you can see by the waves, the wind was making itself known on the river, too.

I was also surprised to find out that the ferry is guided by an underwater cable, too. It kept the ferry on course and we were to the south side of the river quickly. The efficiency of the ferry crew was amazing. Cars were quickly unloaded and replaced by new ones, with the ferry soon back on its way to the north side.

We had a wonderful day exploring parts of Wisconsin that I had never been to before. The weather was particularly gorgeous, which made our adventure even better.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Another Change to the Blog"

I liked what I had changed the blog page to, but I do believe it was too complicated. I had to manuever around to find out what and how to do things......I'm sure it was more than most people were willing to do. So...."Simple is Good". ;)

I'm hoping that now it is back to "normal", I'll once again begin receiving comments.

Sorry for confusion......

"More of the Farm/Art DTour......"

Our tour continued with the South Lime Ridge 4-H Club's installation. This was located right next to the Carr Valley Cheese Shop, where we did find a few cheesy delights to bring home with us.

This art installation was by Catherine Schwalbe-Bouzide, of Chicago, IL. Can you read what it says? It took Don and I a few minutes to figure it out, although if we'd looked at our tour brochure, we'd have understood it right away. The name of the installation is, "TRUTH in the Driftless Region".

"Sky Cage Traps" was done by Terrance Campagna, of Detroit, MI.

Several of these informative signs were along the tour as well. They are labeled on the tour brochure as "Field Notes".

This was part of the next art installation, but across the road from the one labeled.

The main part of the installation were these "Scarecrows", by Sauk County HCE.

We stopped alongside the road so Don could take this photo, and come to find out, we were to turn right onto the same lane that the tractor and hay trailer had just come out from. Our stop was to be at the "Windy Ridge Bakery", who operates out of a culture stand. They also had locally hand woven baskets for sale. Don and I bought a French Bread basket made and signed by Daniel J. Gingerich & Family, of Viroqua, WI.

The first of two "Field Notes" with explanations of "Dairy".

A close up to make it readable. ;)

The second "Field Note" with another explanation, or view, of "Dairy". Personally, I prefer this one.......

More of the Farm/Art DTour to follow......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Farm/Art DTour Continued......"

We stopped at the next cultural stand, but didn't take any photos of it. To be honest, none of the other culture stands were as interesting as the original one, so Don didn't take photos of them.....although he did take some of the very last stand that we stopped at, which will be seen in another post, and that more because of the setting it was in. This one was sitting in the parking lot of the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, who's church yard held the next art installation. Don and I, standing behind it, had our photo taken by another tour goer. The welded iron sculpture, done by David Wells, of Madison, WI, is called "Tools of Toil".

This small cabin/vacation house was just down the hill from the churches property. We found it a very cool building.....what a view it has, eh?

The next art installation was in a wooded area. This one, by Katie Schofield of Reedsburg, WI, is called "Come What May".

I'm not quite sure what the hanging pieces were constructed from, but these smaller forms looked to be crocheted using plastic grocery sacks. Very organic, eh?

Yes, I viewed most of the tour from the car. ;)

Amidst this gorgeous panorama, was the next art installation, called "Field Weave", by Randy Walker of Minneapolis, MN.

Don, of course, went down to the sculpture to get some very nice photos.

The day was absolutely perfect!

More of the Farm/Art DTour tomorrow......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"The Farm/Art DTour......"

I'm trying out a new layout for my on the photo of todays entry and another window will appear with the entire post.

As I mentioned yesterday, there was something for everyone, but not everyone would enjoy each installation. That said, in the next few posts, I'll take you through most of the tour......

"Breathing Room" by Laura Annis, Baraboo, WI and Alexis Ortiz-Duarte, Chicago, IL

"Farm Form" by Reedsburg FFA

One of the beautiful views seen during our drive along the tour.....

Some of the vistas were truly spectacular.......

"Wayfinder" by Terrence Campagna, Detroit, MI

"Boots" by Chris Lutter, Puppet Farm Arts, Minneapolis, MN

"Collie in Control" by Rodney and Tim Seamans, Carolyne and Jan Aslaksen

Farm/Art DTour to be continued....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Food and Farming Festival"

Saturday, October 15th, Don and I drove to Reedsburg, WI, to check out the "Fermentation Fest". A group called "Wormfarm Institute", along with several other grants, and working in collaboration with Sauk County and the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted the event. It wasn't the usual type of festival. From what we perceived, there were no "festival grounds" or large gathering places, but instead, various classes were held at area locations that dealt with fermentation of foods and beverages. We did not attend any of these classes, as pre-registration was required, but we were not disappointed because a self guided art tour, aptly named "The Farm/Art DTour", was part of the festival, too. This was not your average art tour was a tour that involved driving through 50 miles of scenic hills and valleys, along ridge tops, past farms, fields, pastures, and through wooded areas.......truly a gorgeous drive. We were extremely fortunate to have gone on a bright sunny day, which I'm sure made a difference, too. ;) Throughout these 50 scenic miles, were art installations by artists from WI, MN, IL, and MI. Something for everyone's taste. ;)

Also, "Culture Stands", artist built mobile farm stands, an integral part of the festival, were highlighted throughout the tour. This produce stand, built atop a special electric assist trike frame, was our first encounter with the mobile "Culture Stands". We, of course, thought it was fantastic! :) If I remember correctly, this trike produce stand was built by a Milwaukee artist, who "may" have gotten some inspiration for the moveable "wings" from the Milwaukee Art Museum. (

A closer view of the produce area.......

The first stop on the Farm/Art DTour, was the original mobile produce stand, and the inspiration for creating more. Currently, there are 6 Roadside Culture Stands in WI, with 3 more scheduled to be built for the 2012 growing season.

A close up of some of the finer details......

Even the back of the stand is beautiful and has, not the character standing in front of it, but the wood detail. ;)

One of the best details in "my" opinion.......

The Farm/Art DTour continued tomorrow......

Monday, October 24, 2011

"A Gift From Jonathan......."

I had searched online many times (as my weaving stash grew) for a spool rack that I could mount on the side of one of my shelving units. All I found online were freestanding spool racks, which are great, but I didn't want to take up anymore precious floor space in my fiber room.

I finally asked Jonathan (our former neighbor who now lives in North Dakota) if he would make me one, and to my delight, he agreed to do so.

Thanks to his wife, Maniphone, I have a few photos from "The Construction Period". ;) Here is Jonathan out in his workshop, drilling holes for the pegs, which will hold individual spools of yarn.

If I am not mistaken, the drilling of the angled peg holes was the hardest, most technical, part of the entire project.

Jonathan had to fashion a "jig" so that he could consistently drill at the same angle. This is what he came up with, which obviously worked quite well, eh? ;)

After the angle was set, he finished drilling each peg hole........

It obviously took a steady hand to achieve this line up, eh? :)

The spool rack about to be dis-assembled, packaged, and shipped. We'd discussed, via emails, about a finish on the rack, but decided it would be best if I did that on this end.

The spool rack arrived last Friday afternoon!

Jonathan had done an excellent job in packing it, so it arrived in pristine condition.

Here I am inserting pegs at the beginning of happy hour......

I'd wanted to display my new spool rack during happy hour, so set it up and added some spools of yarn for effect. :) Neighbor Rob (professional painter/finish expert/ and I discussed some possibilities for finishes, one of which I chose, so my thanks to Rob for the help in making that decision.

I'd rubbed the new spool rack with Teak Oil, which I found the next morning in our "paint and finish department", downstairs. ;) It brought out a nice warm glow in the wood. I unloaded the shelving unit, clamped the spool rack to it's side so that I could drill into and through the side of the storage unit, using Jonathan's pre-drilled mounting holes, then bolted the spool rack in place.

Here it is mounted, with the shelving unit back in it's place.

It didn't take long before it was loaded up with spools of brightly colored mercerized cotton (which I use for weaving kitchen towels), some of my rayon chenille (more on the shelves, too), with a few spools of sock yarn added for good measure, too.

I'm sure when you look at this photo, you think, "it really doesn't look any different than it did before". In one respect, that is true, but thanks to the new spool rack, I now have all of my spools of yarn and warp in one area. Before, some spools were in this shelving unit, and others were across the room in another shelving unit. It is so nice to have them all in one place and together. Of course, now I will have to suppress the urge to buy more since I have the extra open shelving, eh? ;)

Here is the final re-organization of the fiber room. Much the same as before, but also different.

On top of all the benefits that this new spool rack has given me, Jonathan "gifted" the rack to me as well! The man is not only a Master Woodcrafter, but a Saint, too! My sincere thanks to Jonathan for this wonderful gift. (I hope he has kept his notes/drawings on the making of this rack......"just in case".) ;)