And while I await the shaming I deserve for allowing my studio to become a FEMA site, I ponder a fellow Minnesotan's resourcefulness and a community humble enough to appreciate it. I speak of one Francis A. Johnson and the little town of Darwin, Minnesota, home to the Johnson Twine Ball, world’s largest twine ball made by a single person. This fiberous Gargantua is 12 feet in diameter and wieghs 10,400 lb. It took Mr. Johnson 29 years to roll that ball. He began it in his basement in 1950. Bit by bit, piece by piece, winding and winding.... 4 hours a day. Day after day after day. And when it became too big to wind by hand, he moved it outside to finish the job with railroad jacks. Some say he was obsessed with controlling clutter, even gave his life to the cause. It has been said by many a Darwinian, it was the twine dust itself caused the emphysema that killed him. To clean or not to clean.
So here it is. My photo of shame. Go on, shame me! Wag your finger and make disgusted sounds. I deserve it. I'm not proud of this. I love clutter, almost thrive in it. But this.... I have always worked on several pieces at one time using a ton of diverse materials and many processes requiring separate areas. And now with time in my studio seriously crunched, it's worse. I just don't feel like taking out time to clean up. What's happening to me! How bad does it get before you clean your studio? When is clutter just clutter?