Foraging is one of my favorite past times. As I wander through the wild acres in my back yard, moss and damp wood in various forms of decay provide an aromatic scent unlike anything else. How I enjoy the crisp air with a slight bit of dew and the crunch, crunch, crunch of dried leaves underfoot as I make my trek. My body and mind take a break from the norm and I am allowed space for contemplation. For lack of a more descriptive word, it grounds me.
As I hunt for likely candidates to serve as props, it brings me back to carefree moments in childhood when I was about 7 or 8. Old enough to spend hours on end creating my own forest wonderland home, I would let my imagination soar! Amid swampy, algae laden ponds and heavily forested terrain I feared… not a thing… and was free… to explore, and make, and do, to my hearts content. I essentially created an entire imaginary world out of nothing.
I love returning to that childlike state of mind, challenging myself to create with found materials. That is how Renuko Style was born. When I want to fully immerse myself in creative abandon, I go to this place in my imagination and set myself free.
Currently in Maine, the snow is gone, but the woods have not yet donned their full green coat. It is the best time for foraging. Little bits of green materials that survive the harsh cold are easy to collect. Vines and branches are bare and sport their delightfully curly aesthetic. Today I set about collecting materials to style a greenhouse-like display on my kitchen banquet, and satisfy my need for color, specifically the color green.
I cut snippets of vinca vine, they make a wonderful instant houseplant. Moss and birch bark pair well with pussy willows in a tall terra-cotta pot. I loosely craft a nest made of bittersweet vine and dried wild morning glories, inspired by @lredwillow. And I play with various types of edits, looking to trigger a shift in my work.
What do you think? Should I stick with the light, airy, and a bit hazy or head in a darker, more dramatic direction with stronger light contrast? I would love your feedback. One can always do with a critique.
Also, I have been making use of these still a bit wintery days keeping busy at my metal working bench. Been rocking’ it out listening to ‘Phutureprimitive’ and making jewelry for summer tourists soon to arrive. Is it any wonder I call it ‘Modern Primitive?’ The driving music pushes me create things a bit on the edgy side. Although, as of late, my work has been very much nature inspired, due in part to the unique reclaimed materials I have ‘foraged,’ and no doubt influenced as well by the abundance of texture in my surroundings.
What is your favorite found material to create with? I would love to hear!