Pele Speaks.

Pele Speaks is finished. It’s the first piece in my newly created Mother Earth Speaks series. Pele Speaks is 24” x 44”, wool cloth strips and wool yarn on linen foundation.

I’ve learned some things about lava while creating this piece, such as the names of different kinds of lava. See my blog from last week if you missed that.

This week, I’d like to discuss the goddess Pele, otherwise known as Pelehonuamea. She is the goddess “who shapes the sacred land”. As she devours the Big Island, she is creating new land at the same time. In my shamanic studies, the goddess of the South, land of heat and fire, is She who creates life and death. This certainly describes Pele.

There are many folk tales about this fiery goddess. She can appear as a young woman or an old woman, sometimes accompanied by a white dog. Her image can show up in photos of the lava lake within the crater or molten lava flows. She may be a woman dressed in white, who appears and then disappears. She is revered and respected.

Travelers to Hawaii are warned against taking home any lava rock, which is a sacred piece of the fire goddess. Bad luck will befall anyone who removes it from Pele’s home.

Those of you of a “certain age” like me, might remember way back to 1972 when there was an episode of The Brady Bunch about the family’s trip to Hawaii. The boys gain possession of a small carved tiki, which they think is a fun souvenir, but it quickly brings them all kinds of bad luck. They wise up and put the tiki back where they found it. Lesson learned.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the fiery goddess, Pelehonuamea.

P.S.  Come back next week when I’ll be doing a BOOK GIVEAWAY. I know you love these as much as I do!

Pele Speaks, wool cloth strips and yarn on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC ©2018.

Pele Speaks, wool cloth strips and yarn on linen foundation. Designed and hooked by Karen Larsen, Crow's Foot Farm Designs, LLC ©2018.

A close up of the hooked yarn billowy pahoehoe lava.

A close up of the hooked yarn billowy pahoehoe lava.

Lava.

Since I’m hooking Hawaiian lava, I was interested to find out if there are names for different types of lava. To my surprise, there are.

In the photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert that I’m using with permission for my Pele Speaks piece, there is what looks like two kinds of lava, but having read and looked at photos, I now believe it is the same kind called, pahoehoe [pronounced ‘paw-hoey-hoey’] - a nice Hawaiian name for it.

Pahoehoe lava is the second most abundant type. It’s characterized by a smooth, billowy, or ropy surface produced by its low velocity and air-cooled surface, which is not disrupted during flow.  In the photo, the striated and billowy pahoehoe lava can be easily seen.

Another kind of lava with a Hawaiian name is a’a [pronounced ‘ah-ah’]. This type has a very rough surface with loose fragments formed as the lava is pulled apart and twisted during flow.

There is another type called pillow lava, which is formed under water.  But enough science for today.

This past week I finished hooking the hot lava section and went on to hook in some dark grey foundation for the billowy lava, which I will hook with a variety of yarns. Before I start hooking with yarn, I steam blocked the piece and covered one side of the gripper strips on my frame, so I won’t pull out the yarn as I hook.  I don’t do much hooking with yarn, so this will be interesting.

I can’t wait to see how this looks and hope to finish it by week’s end.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the amazing forms of nature all around us.

Pele Speaks is ready for the billowy lava to flow.

Pele Speaks is ready for the billowy lava to flow.

Photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert, used with permission.

Photo of Hawaiian lava by Leigh Hilbert, used with permission.

Flowing.

I’m flowing right along with my Pele Speaks piece.  Using a nice wide #8.5 cut does help and I’m almost finished with the hot lava section.  I have been using many of my orange and orange/yellow wools, mixing them to create movement.  I’ve spent many happy hours in my studio.

The weather has turned HOT, which is hard on my cold-weather-loving self.  I hope it won’t interfere with my momentum on this hooked piece.  I’d like to finish it before the end of the month and before our son and granddaughter arrive for a visit in early July.  Their visit, and our annual cornhole tournament, will be my sole focus then. 

I have an idea for the next piece in my Mother Earth Speaks series.  I’ll share that with you when I’m ready to begin.  Another one is also forming in my mind and I have asked my sister-in-law, who lives on Cape Cod, to help gather some of the materials.  I’ll leave it a mystery for now.

We had almost no spring this year, just cooler temps and lots of rain, so our gardens are not up to speed yet.  My husband, the gardener, told me my favorite flowers, the Red Hot Pokers, are kaput.  Rotten roots, probably from all the rain.  That is sad.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and I will be patient and wait for the flowers to bloom.

The lava is flowing....

The lava is flowing....

When I hook the dark, puddled lava at the top in this photo,it will really make the lave pop!

When I hook the dark, puddled lava at the top in this photo,it will really make the lave pop!

Interpreting.

My project, Pele Speaks, is coming along.   I finished the lighter grey striated area.  There must be eight or nine different wools in it.  The amazing thing is that I had a two-gallon zip bag stuffed full of grey cut noodles/worms and although I used those with only a few newly cut strips, the bag is still half full.  As all rug hookers know, those worms reproduce overnight.  No matter how optimistic one is about using them up, they never go away.  I guess that’s not all that bad.  A worm in just the right color is handy to have when hooking.

As you can see from the photo below, I’ve begun the orange lava area.  I do have a nice array of orange wool.  Orange is one of my favorite colors.  It’s a power color that indicates Creative Energy.  This area will need to be hooked, looked at, and then tweaked.  Although the lava is flowing in a linear way, if you look at the photo [used with permission from Leigh Hilbert] you can see that there are ridges formed perpendicular to the flow.  My hooking is in the direction of these ridges.

My series, Mother Earth Speaks, has been occupying my thoughts recently.  There are a couple of ideas swimming around in my head.  I’m interested in mixed media pieces using wool, found objects, etc.  Thinking of how to interpret ideas is fun.  Making those ideas happen will be the challenge.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the images formed by one’s mind.

The hot orange of lava.

The hot orange of lava.

Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

Image of Hawaiian lava © Leigh Hilbert

A new series.

I have completed my super secret project and I’m ready to start something new.  As I was finishing up this project, using Tracy Jamar’s excellent book, Coils, Folds, Twists, and Turns [©2017 Stackpole Books], I was inspired to continue using standing wool and other elements in my next project.  I was having fun and that was motivating!

Nature has always been an important part of my life. I’m even contemplating doing not just one piece, but a series of projects about the Earth and the beautiful, scary, exciting, wondrous, and sad events that are part of Mother Nature’s panoply. I might name the series, Mother Speaks. I’m picturing a variety of materials used with and without rug hooking.

When I lived in Maine, I did a weekly live radio show called, Earthtones, on community radio station WERU-FM.  It was a nature-based show featuring indigenous, new age, world, and ambient music along with readings from works by nature writers.  There was even a live bird report by my pal, Birdman Bob.  I did the show for almost nine years and it was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had.  So, why shouldn’t fiber art be just as exciting and fun to me? 

The first project I’m planning will reflect the mesmerizing, and pretty terrifying volcanic eruptions in Hawaii.  The lava flows are amazing with colors so vivid they don’t seem real.  I found a photograph that I’d like to adapt and have received permission from the photographer, Leigh Hilbert.  I’m excited to get started!  Follow along as I decide how to adapt this photo with wool and other elements.

There’s a lot of beauty out there and in the many faces of Mother Nature.

This photo of Hawaiian lava flow is my inspiration, used with permission from © Leigh Hilbert.

This photo of Hawaiian lava flow is my inspiration, used with permission from © Leigh Hilbert.

I cannot wait to start creating with these beautiful wools and yarns.  And maybe other elements, too.

I cannot wait to start creating with these beautiful wools and yarns.  And maybe other elements, too.