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my VCFA mfa work:

1st sem—oct12–apr13—pkt#1 <
1st sem—oct12–apr13—pkt#2 <
1st sem—oct12–apr13—pkt#3 <
1st sem—oct12–apr13—pkt#4 <
1st sem—oct12–apr13—pkt#5 <

2nd sem—apr13–oct13—pkt#1 <
2nd sem—apr13–oct13—pkt#2—
2nd sem—apr13–oct13—pkt#3 <
2nd sem—apr13–oct13—pkt#4 <

3rd sem—oct13–apr14—pkt#1 <
3rd sem—oct13–apr14—pkt#2 <



email —{ darlene.town@gmail.com
ph —{ 816.682.4438
fb —{ facebook.com/dtown65
li —{ darlene.town


Packet #2:

reading ::Sacred Ecology

Sacred Ecology - Fikret Berkes

:: excerpts I found interesting:

still reading/writing




an invitation into a conversation:

:: An invitation to everyone to participate in a dialog has been built with fliers, a blog (dtown65.wordpress.com), and word of mouth. Only minimal dialog so far. A lot of neighbors waving and smiling as they pass me working in the field.

early box construction
From scrap lumber and leftover Mohogany stain, a few pruned sticks, nails, a leftover hinge, and paint...

take one box

I really like the construction of the info box. I’ve had a lot of comment on it. Two complete strangers/bloggers “liked” my posts on wordpress. I need to get more familiar with that network and see if there’s more I can to do push it out there. The first couple of weeks my flyers sat in there untouched... then suddenly they were all gone. Time to do the next field design and continue the dialog.

You can download your own copy of the flyer by clicking on the image below:
folded flyer


art making: Field Design1

:: Why field designing? It's a LARGE canvas which forced me to back away from the work. It's a temporary canvas. This is a different format for me and a little scary. There is no "undo" or eraser or way to fix a mistake when you're mowing. You just have to move on and incorporate what you've mowed into the final piece. I had to let go (which is starting to get easier for me).
Hopefully, with this field motif I migth insiore others to MAKE more (maybe consume less), to think for themselves and not rely on others to give all the answers (or mislead them).

:: The elements:

FLWright Tree of LifeThe Leaf is influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Tree of Life” stained glass design.

I used the word MAKE: (defined)
- to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.: to make a dress; to make a channel; to make a work of art.
- to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about: to make trouble; to make war.
- to cause to be or become; render: to make someone happy.
- to appoint or name: The President made her his special envoy.
- to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare: to make a bed; to make dinner.

MAKE is a very important word to me. It’s a verb that empowers us to use our minds and hands, to feel and understand the materials we work with, to solve a problem or respond to something beautiful and incorporate self or interpret meaning in a visual way. It can give purpose or refeal purpose. In re-acquainting with the materials we can learn where they come from and by what process, how it feels in the hand, what tools to use with it, how to mold it, how it transforms, how it smells, how it looks when completed, how it ages, what happens to it when it is no longer useful.

There is not as much making by individuals these days. It’s been handed off, in many cases, to those who don’t put their heart or mind into the process. Materials have gotten cheaper and more fragile.
We’re encouraged to dispose and replace items in much faster cycles than years past. And when we do replace, do we give much thought about where the old items go, or what the process is for making the replacement? I fear we are trapped in a system that rewards the wrong things (newness, profits, speed,...). No, I don’t want to give up my smart phone, computer, or flat screen TV, but I ask myself, “what CAN I do?” I could honor my Dad, who passed in 2005, and all that he taught me—gardening, carpentry, designing, love of nature, self-reliance. I could honor all those who came before him who struggled but relied on their own ingenuity to solve their problems. I can use less and make more from what I have, wherever possible.

So here's how it came together...starting up high...

mapquest grid [thank you Mapquest]

The original design plan—
first MAKE

...then I mowed the wrong direction and finished with...

final view from air

[the gliche in the middle right was not me, it was a dead spot from a patch of hay sitting there all winter and suffocating the new growth]

After mowing the wrong direction with the motif, mowing the word MAKE was nerve-wracking. Glad it was all straight lines.

aerial view - higher

I like this process. I can't wait for the next one.
The plane ride to get these photos is another story (you can read about on my blog).

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making/repurposing: Cistern Revival

:: My cistern is 10 feet from my garage, unused, just waiting for new purpose. Instead of gallon after gallon of rain water going nowhere, I can capture it and pump it out to the garden, or anywhere I want. As we all know, rainwater is far better for our vegetation than tap water.
Last year we had a drought which made my gardening very expensive (using tap water).
First I'd have to see if the cistern holds water. If not, the project may be too impractical to pursue. If it does, then I'd have to buy some additional guttering/piping to route the water and a pump and the lumber for a pergola (the pretty designed aspect of this) that will be the support over a walkway between my garage and the cistern.

the plans

First to prepare the area. The juniper trees and forsythias had taken over the cistern area. A lot of pruning took place.


The cistern was still holding water. It was at least 12 years old (scary). I used a sump pump to drain it. I got all but 2 or 3 inches out of it. For the remaining water I put some chlorine tablets in an empty milk jug, poked holes in it and dropped it down a line into the cistern. This ought to kill any remaining "bad" bacteria.

Next, design the pergola and plumbing.

Upcoming events I’ve attended or
will be attending:

:: Maker Faire - KC
Saturday/Sunday, June 29 & 30—Union Station

Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration. Come see what others are making and be inspired to tap into your own creativity!

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