I knew that my work was going to be on the postcard for the guild's 'Creation Myth' exhibit at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council. I didn't know it would only show my work! My oh my! My heart is thumping!
Wow, does time fly when the holidays come around. Yet again, I feel so far behind in writing what I have been doing this may be a long post. The holidays were good, except that Dad had to go into the hospital the day after Christmas. I had to call the ambulance in the morning because he was having really bad pain. It was the worst that I have ever seen him and I was very afraid. We both thought it was a heart attack. It turned out to be a spasm in a coronary artery that was fixed easily by having a stent put in. Now he is back working harder than he has in months and he is happy about that....and I am very thankful just to still have him with us.
The holidays always mean packing up my 'studio' so we can fit the 20+ family members in the dining room. This year we tried doing something different and turned the big table 90 degrees. It seems like there is more room now so I am able to keep the folding tables out and put them on risers to ease my back. Since most of my felting stuff was packed away I laid out a simple rug on my table down in the basement. I used one of the fleeces that I bought in November; a Border Leicester. Here it is with the layout almost finished.
I finished the layout but that is as far as I have gotten. It is still down there waiting to be felted. Good thing we don't need THAT table for anything!
After Thanksgiving I was able sneak in a visit with Joei. I wanted to use her drum carder on the brown/black fleece I bought. It was slow going since the fibers are so short; much shorter than I thought when I bought it. I am planning on making a hat with these batts.
Joei worked on a pair of slippers for a Christmas gift. Here she is, looking a bit maniacal with her wooden spoon for hitting the felt. She is so fun!
We talked about the upcoming "Creation Myths" exhibit that the guild is having at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council in Glens Falls NY and shared lots of ideas. I have always wanted to make a Greenman out of felt and we thought it could fit in with the theme of the exhibit so I came home inspired. I got right to work on it. Here are some progress photos.
And here is how he finished up looking. He is a wearable mask with Velcro straps on the back. I made removable eyes too but decided not to use them. I did stitching on all of the leaves since I have my lovely old featherweight tuned up and running smooth.
I am quite happy with him.
I then got back to working on my primordial soup piece. I just have a few bits left to stitch but here it is. I need to get better photos before I ship it off.
And last but not least I was busy getting ready to have a wonderful group of ladies come for the weekend so that we could felt together. Joei and I have been 'keepers of the flower vine' for the guild for a while now. This vine is a collaborative guild project and is meant to be displayed at our exhibits. Therefore I wanted to get it done in time for the January 20th opening. That meant a lot of sewing to put the flowers that the members made on to the vines. Here is what we had to work with.
Sadly, Joei was not able to join us, but Cher, Cheryl, Carol, Robin, and I were able to finish the vine and have loads of fun. So much so that I want to have more felt get-togethers. Be warned Dad, D&D's B&B may get busier!
Serendipity brought feltmaking into my life at a time when I needed to reconnect with the past and find a way to express my artistic side beyond my rigid dictionary illustration work. The softness of the fibers, the feel of the soapy water, the magic moment when the loose fibers become felt appealed to my unfulfilled need to use my fingers to manipulate the medium. It often feels as though I am just a facilitator for the art, as though the pieces have their own need to be created. There is a kind of conversation that flows from my mind and through my hands into the wool and back again, and during this exchange the questioning mind quiets. My landscapes reflect this sense of peace, creating worlds that invite the viewer to enter and rest in solitude. Through light and shade, the flowing organic lines, and the play of the varying colors the rush and rigidity of daily life falls away. The incredible range of techniques and materials that can be used in felting sustains my enthusiasm and the unpredictability of the way the fibers will blend has encouraged me to let go of the notion that a good artist is one that can render objects that appear realistic. Felting frees my soul.