Monday, 27 August 2018

"Beetle Kill" Blanket #2

Further to my last blog about the "Coming Home" blanket in this year's Artwalk, here is a second blanket I have on display at Raymond James in Williams Lake.  Artwalk is going really well again this year, and the different displays are very good.  Enjoy it if you are here!

OK, here's my second Beetle Kill blanket and its story:


Lodgepole pine forests in the Cariboo were hard hit by the mountain pine beetle over a decade ago. Bark beetles burrow beneath the tree’s bark and mine through the underlying phloem layer while also introducing a fungus that additionally kills the tree and stains the outer sapwood blue.  Vast areas of the Chilcotin now have many dead pine trees that have decayed and fallen over.  This is all part of the natural cycle.

From the bottom of this blanket, the design depicts the lush greens of the lodgepole pine forest with some scattered darker spruce.  One pine is attacked by the mountain pine beetle and shows red needles, then more trees turn red, and within a year the entire stand is a bright reddish shade. The needles fall to the ground and the forest looks grey.

The trees become standing skeletons that rot and fall over, but the forest responds with the increased light to the forest floor.  New plants pop up and thrive in their brighter environment: lush green shoots of pinegrass, bright golden flowers of heart-leaved arnica and goatsbeard, mauve showy aster with its golden centres, and splashes of bright purple vetch.  As the dead lodgepole pine fall over and their cones release seeds that germinate, the entire stand is renewed to a healthy forest, as shown at the blanket’s opposite end.  

SH244 | Beetle Kill Blanket | 100% wool | 178 cm x 126 cm (70" x 49.5") 

Detail of beetle attack in lodgepole pine

Detail of attacked stand showing new growth of pinegrass and wildflowers

This blanket sold at the UNBC Artisans of the North craft fair in October - thanks!

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