I spent most of yesterday painting a 5.5m Tipi.  It was a lof of fun and the weather was just right.  The Swallows in the barn roof seemed to take an interest in between nest building.  To get Kokopelli’s design on the tipi I erected a scaffold tower and used it to hang the canvas.

Tipi canva hanging from Scaffold Tower

Tipi canvas hanging from Scaffold Tower

I awaited dusk to use a projector to place the image on the canvas and trace round.  The canvas was then laid out on the barn floor and painting began at 4pm and finished at 11.30.  I painted nearly non-stop and was entertained by www.littlestevensundergroundgarage.com playing some great music.  You can see the progress below. I added a red to the top of the canvas but it was too dark to take a pic.  The Tipi will be out this weekend and I will add more pics then.

Kokopelli is joined by our little promo tipi getting a lick of extra paint.

Kokopelli is joined by our little promo tipi getting a lick of extra paint.

Painted Tipi with crop circle design door flap

Painted Tipi with crop circle design door flap

So who is Kokopelli?

Kokopelli

I first met Kokopelli on a t-shirt dancing in front of a full moon.  He is a common site in the south western United States. I liked the little figure and enjoyed reading his legend.

Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player , who has been venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music.

More info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokopelli
http://www.drlamay.com/kokopelli.htm

Kokopelli has been a totem for friends and I for many years and has proved a lucky mascot.

We made a start on the Painted Tipi project this week. First up a little 1m diameter promo tipi. Nothing too large and unwieldly to handle. Traced the design out on the floor of the living room and used a mixture of acrylic fabric paint and some left-over green exterior paint. The fabric paint is much better and does not soak in so much. The back design was based on a crop circle.

When I grow up I want to be a 18 footer

When I grow up I want to be a 18 footer

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Next up is a full size 18ft Tipi to get the paint treatment. Going to help draw the design out using Photoshop to create it and then project it on the canvas.

We’ve been doing more research on designs for painting some of our tipi canvas’s.  This site was recommended by Johnny Morris of Wolf Glen Tipis when we visited his evocative and inspiring tipi and home in Galashiels.  Here’s an exerpt from the site’s page on painted tipis.

http://www.tipis-tepees-teepees.com/tipi_gallery.php?i=

Canvas, linen or cloth covers for tipis started becoming popular among the Native Americans around 1851.  According to Kurz’s  1851 journal, more of the wealthy men were already getting canvas for their lodges.  Treaty annuity payments in the late 1850s and 1860s, also were accompanied by lots of canvas bed ticking an other fabrics.  As the 19th. century wore on, the covers got bigger.  More bolder surface designs were applied with the new industrial paints and dyes that did not wash off or fade.  Looking at old photos of Blackfoot tipis, drawings of the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Sioux depicts spectacular cover paintings in their sketch books. 

Over The Moon Tents had a call from The BBC on Monday asking if we could hire a Tipi to them for a film shoot for that afternoon . We were happy to oblige and after a scooting upto our store to load up we were in Aldenham near Watford for the set up on the village green.  The filming was for “Stewart Lee Comedy Vehicle” due to air in spring 2009 on BBC1.  We enjoyed watching the filming today, the weather was cold and clear so we were all wrapped up.

Painted Tipi on location with the BBC

Painted Tipi on location with the BBC

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Exert from Tipi - Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters

Exert from Tipi - Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters

 I recently discovered this book while visiting a friend.  Its a wonderful document of many tipi designs all in full colour.  It will be a great guide as we plan to paint some of our tipis over the winter.  These newly painted tipis will be available for hire in 2009.  Now we just have to come up with designs that are our own, as according to the book you must never take another person’s tipi design, ideally the design will come to you via dream visions.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tipi-Home-Nomadic-Buffalo-Hunters/dp/193331639X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226868110&sr=1-1