Meeting up in Dublin

With just 19 days to go, I can finally share what we’ve planned for the project in Dublin! We’ll be located in Point Square, in the same area as the Art Show. It is part of the “Warehouse Art Demo Area” – that’s how it’s called on the programme. There will be tables and chairs, and loads of materials. You’re welcome to come by during the opening times, drop off your contributions, help putting things together and making the things that are still missing.

There will be three formal workshops, one each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, to introduce people to the project. Coming to one of those is a sure way to meet me!

The Raksura Colony Tree – A Community Art Project

  • 15 Aug 2019, Thursday 10:30 – 11:20
  • 16 Aug 2019, Friday 14:30 – 15:20
  • 17 Aug 2019, Saturday 12:30 – 13:20

On Monday, there will be two additional sessions:

The Raksura Colony Tree – putting it all together

  • 19 Aug 2019, Monday 10:30 – 11:20

For anybody wanting to drop things off, this is the last possible time. We’ll spend that time bringing the model into its final form.

And then it’s time to celebrate this project:

The Raksura Colony Tree – Celebration!

  • 19 Aug 2019, Monday 12:30 – 13:20

See the final result and celebrate with us what we’ve created in the run-up and during Worldcon!

I will also be involved in some more programme items, that at least on the surface don’t have anything to do with this project. Since I suspect that they’re of interest to some of you nevertheless, I’ll post them here as well.

Speed crafting – session 2

16 Aug 2019, Friday 10:30 – 12:20, Warehouse Art Demo Area (Point Square Dublin)

It’s like speed dating for handicrafts. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at something new, but haven’t managed to take the ‘plunge’? We will provide the materials and instructors. Each session will have different handicrafts, and you will try each one. You won’t end up with something you can take away, but maybe you’ll be inspired. Sign-ups in advance will be required for this workshop (limited to 15 people).

Session 2: tatting, cross stitch, tablet weaving.

Anne Coleman, Rebecca Hewett (M), Constanze Hofmann

I’ll be doing the cross stitch section for this one.

Hyperbolic crochet

17 Aug 2019, Saturday 10:30 – 11:20, Alhambra (Point Square Dublin)

This panel/workshop is for those who would like to learn a little about hyperbolic geometry, using great visual aids, or those interested in learning a new crochet technique that can produce some spectacular effects. Based on the 2007 book Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes: Tactile Mathematics, Art and Craft for All to Explore by Daina Taimina of Cornell University.

Dr Nicholas Jackson (University of Warwick) (M), Michelle Coleman (University of Nottingham), Constanze Hofmann

This is a presentation that will include a hands-on portion, which I will be responsible for.

Introduction to Irish crochet lace

18 Aug 2019, Sunday 12:30 – 14:20, Warehouse Art Demo Area (Point Square Dublin)

Irish crochet lace was created as a faster way to make lace items that looked similar to expensive Italian/French needle laces. Using ordinary crochet stitches, we’ll create an Irish crochet motif that can be used as a brooch or to decorate a piece of clothing.

Knowledge of basic crochet stitches is required to successfully participate in this workshop. Sign-ups in advance will be required (limited to 10 people) with a small fee for supplies.

Constanze Hofmann (M)

I was hoping they’d find someone actually from Ireland to do this, but of course, having made the suggestion, I got the job. There’s class samples already in existence, but please don’t ask about the state of the handout, which will probably get done at the last minute.


Putting things together

The covering has now aquired a few strategically placed holes, time to give everything one last test drive before taking it apart, putting it in a box and sending it off to Dublin.

So, here we are. First view is of the covered model without the platforms, so you can see the backdrop:

Model, covered, without platforms

Now, let’s add the platforms:

Model, covered, with platforms

And here’s a few close-ups – the entrance hole:

Model, covered, detail with entrance hole

… and the hole where the waterfall is going to come out:

Model, covered, detail with hole for waterfall

The fabric covering still needs a bit of sewing at the top edge to have something sensible to adjust the width and to hang it from, but that needs a tiny bit of shopping beforehand. And then it’s off into the mail! The next time you’ll see it in its full glory is when we meet in Dublin five weeks from now. I’m getting excited! (and nervous …)


Covering the Backdrop

In the last installment of this, the backdrop still looked pretty cardboard-coloured. I’ve since been working on covering that up with a bit of fabric and at the same time visually extending the model so we get a bit more of a feeling for this being a slice of a really huge tree.

I transferred the design of the background onto a big piece of cotton fabric and started painting:

Painting the Tree

The inspiration for this was the same picture I used previously, but now on a much bigger scale:

Inspiration for the Ribbed Tree

The white areas are where the supports for the platforms will stick out and still need to be cut out and hemmed.

Here’s the whole width of the thing painted:

Painted backdrop

You can see the entrance hole in the middle, and a smaller hole for a waterfall to come out of at the right. The paints are textile paints, and I used a simple textile marker from an IKEA set for adding some details in black.

I’ve since extended the painting upwards on the other half of the fabric which is hanging down from the table at the top of this picture. This will be attached to the wall above the model, visually extending it upwards. Still need to think about the best way to do attachment points at the top.

Onwards to ironing the whole thing to set the colours and then some sewing!