Weaving, Mary Burns
First of Three Pieces
In the early 1800’s majestic white pines with diameters to 7’ graced the lake country of what would become north-central Wisconsin. In this pre-settlement period white pines dominated the uplands surrounding these lakes. In the late 1800’s loggers cut most of the original white pine in the area. Portions of the cutover regenerated in sun loving species such as white birch. Now, more than 100 years after the logging era white pines have become reestablished once again.
Lakebed core samples were taken from Crystal Lake, an LTER lake, and analyzed for pollen: a compressed image of plant life over time. My project illustrates what the upland area around Crystal Lake may have looked like at different time periods: pre-settlement dominated by white pine; human impacts of logging; and transition species of white birch which would have come in after the logging and extensive wildfires.
I have hand-woven these pieces on my jacquard loom. The base material in the pieces is cotton thread, slightly heavier than sewing thread. I can control each individual warp thread on the loom giving me artistic flexibility usually not found in weaving.
Fiber Art, Bonnie Peterson
Ice Phenology, 12" H x 28" W
Embroidery on silk, and velvet.
The duration of annual ice cover on Madison, WI's Lake Mendota is graphed next to a definition of the term phenology.
Text: Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events. Phenological records provide comparisons between years and among geographic regions. Examples include the date of emergence of leaves and flowers, the first appearance of migratory birds. Because many such phenomena are very sensitive to small variations in climate, especially temperature, phenological records can be a useful proxy for temperature in historical study of climate change.
Photograph, Jeff Richter
A Walk Intro the Unknown
In a world that grows more complex by the minute, we seek answers to big issues in black and white. We want to identify a culprit to blame and a hero to believe in. Reality suggests that issues as complex as climate change are best described in shades of grey.
With this image, I hope to suggest shades of grey. It’s a photo of a mostly mature red pine forest near my home in northern Wisconsin. Here, red pines are a species at risk to warming temperatures. We frequently overlook importance of upland forests to our water resources. The road and fog suggest we are navigating into uncharted territory.
To those who still question climate change , I pose a simple question. What if you are wrong? Are you willing to gamble with the future of all the peoples of the earth in the name of skepticism. The clock is ticking.