Monday, October 14, 2013

Forest of Arts (Hopkins Demonstration Forest)

Our family was invited to give a Tipi Living Demo at an outdoor arts festival, called Forest of Arts, this last weekend.  It was held at the Hopkins Demonstration Forest, outside of Portland, OR.  Along with showing how people can still live in tipis, with a direct relationship with the elements, my husband and I gave demonstrations of our own crafts as well.  I recreated my outdoor sewing work space and set up a hand-on display for Natural Dyeing, while Michael displayed his basket weaving and bow-making.  Fair Ophelia Designs creations were for sale, along with a few wild-crafted plant medicines.  It was a really great event and we would be happy to return next year! 
We set up our family lodge one day before the festival began and welcomed many old friends into our home.  After living in Southern Oregon for more than a year and having many folks come and visit us, we had the pleasure of bringing our home to those unable to travel afar.
Tipi living in the Cascade region seems a bit unreasonable due to the wetness, but we survived the weekend.  There was only one short rain storm, but finding dry wood in a temperate rain forest is difficult, leading to smokier fires than normal.  Our bones were creaking from the cold moist air, yet the experience was rewarding.
It is strange to put your life on display, but I feel we opened many eyes to the possibility of how humans can live in a more direct and accountable way.  Many boy and girl scout troops were around and the whole family took turns helping them get some badges.  Fair and Whitman showed how to identify different trees and what those trees offered for food and medicine.  I did a short dyeing tutorial with sumac berries and iron and Michael talked about wild edibles and processing acorns.  Their eyes were bright and there smiles wide by the end of the visit with us.  We had many great conversations throughout the weekend and thank you to all those who supported us by taking home one of my many creations!!!
Natural Dyeing Demo Area
Fair Ophelia Designs

Sumac berries create a rosy beige, but when put in an iron after-bath it changes to a charcoal.

Wolf lichen, Oregon Grape root, and Onion skins create various yellows and light greens.

(photo by Gordon F.)
Visitors were fascinated with the spectrum of colors from natural dyeing and I told them this demo's colors were just the tip of the ice burg in the colors one can achieve!

Boy scouts breaking open acorns and walnuts.

(photo by Gordon F.)
Our family lodge
(photo by Gordon F.)
Michael spent a lot of time welcoming people inside and letting them experience being on the ground around the fire.


(photo by Gordon F.)
We tried to make it as close to our normal setup.

Time with our loved ones!


Wylden Freeborne said...

Beautiful post babe.

HunterSdilley said...

Wow! Thats just awesome! I miss u guys!

Bea's Knees said...

Your home looks so comfy, and makes me long for the woods and a return to the fundamentals. Good to see you are all so well, and props to Fair and Whitman for sharing their tree knowledge too, what awesome little people they are!