Friday, November 11, 2016

Pigs will fly

When the Cubs won the World Series, I had a premonition about the election. Sadly, my fears came true. I don't remember ever bursting into tears over election results before. My one consolation is voter turnout was low, so we are not so much a nation full of hate but one of apathy and/or frustration. Let's hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

To distract ourselves last Tuesday, my SO and I took a road trip to the Toledo area. At the recommendation of a friend, we stopped at Grand Rapids OH along the way. Despite the Trump signs, we enjoyed our visit there. We ate pie at Miss Lily's Restaurant, strolled along the Maumee River, and made some fiber and decor purchases at the Natural Fiber and Yarn Co.

This store was a delightful surprise, chock full of alpaca and merino products, finished and otherwise. But what really caught my attention was the "barn loom". They estimate it to be about 200 years old, and had to disassemble it to get it out of the previous owner's basement, meticulously labeling the parts to assure correct reassembly.

Look, Ma, no nails!

The weaver sits on the bench at the right of this photo. The beater bar swings from above (like a swing!) and is worn smooth by decades of use.

The brake for the back beam looks like a ship's wheel.

Setup is not complete, as the shop owners are not sure how to get the harnesses hung correctly. (They asked me if I was a weaver, but I was not any help.) They also want to move it to a part of the store where there will be room for demos.

Our fiber day was not over. We continued our daytrip to the Toledo Museum of Art. Besides enjoying a large and diverse collection and some interesting exhibits, we were mesmerized by Plexus no. 35, a thread installation by Gabriel Dawe. These photos do not do it justice - it needs to be seen in person.

In simple terms, literally miles of thread were strung from floor to ceiling, then backlit from above. While the piece looks curved, each thread is actually straight.

The result is a rainbow of vibrant color.

This video shows how the colors appear to move, drifting up and down as one moves around the piece. It is as static as can be, though. What a wonderful visual display!

(The man in the background holding a purse is my SO. And it is *my* purse, although he is manly enough to carry a "man bag".)