Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A busy week ending with one more felted landscape class taught.

It has been such a busy fall for me, and this past week was the windup. Last weekend I taught another landscape class at Robin's Luckystone Studio. But before that I had some other things to do, starting with a stop in at the New England Fiber Festival which is held only 5 or so miles from my house. How could I not go?  And I have a confession to make...I caved on my vow not to buy any more fleeces until I used the ones I already have. In my defense, I DID just earn some money from teaching, and I HAD shown great restraint at the other two fiber festivals I went to this fall, AND I just got a brand new drum carder to play with.  I am not having buyers remorse but I am starting to think that I have the same problem with buying fleece as I do with buying beads. I love them more than I use them...I may need a 12 step program to get it under control. Here are the 'three bags full'....

...a black Icelandic, mottled grey Lincoln, and a gorgeous and very clean, very soft Merino which was a first shearing (aka a hogget). One of the reasons I like buying fleeces is that I am buying local and supporting farmers in this country. The Merino is the only one that I have fondled since I bought it. Here is a photo of the washed fleece and a small felt sample.

Next I went to the opening of the Granby Land Trust Art show. I was VERY happy to have my sister Beth come with me and be there when I was presented the award. We had so much fun and she was really good at promoting me after that half a glass of wine she drank! I won the Helen & Al Wilke award, which was a new award this year, for my drawing of the grapes.

I was happy to have my pieces hung so that could be seen during the ceremony. I felt sorry for the artists whose work was hung in the vestibule.  And I am always proud to see my felt hanging with price winning oil paintings.

But the best part of the night was having Beth there with me.

The rest of the week was spent scrambling to get my pieces mounted to put in the Wesleyan Potter's Annual Show and Sale.  I am thankful that Dad has been helping me with making simple frames. I have shown all these pieces before but here they are finally mounted and ready to hang.

This next piece I took some sideways shots to try to show how the felt is sculpted to project off of the background.

I asked some of my friends for advice on how to mount some of these. This one I agreed looked better just unframed, but it still had to be stitched to a backing with a way to hang it on the wall. Sometimes this type of mounting is harder than just doing my usual framing.

I also had to do some touch up on the mounting for my Tiffany window piece since it has traveled a bit and got banged up. I am not good about taking care of my artwork. I put in six pieces in all. I found that the south facing wall of the barn makes a good place to photograph my pieces...and I can put as many nails in it as I want! I will be kind of sad if my Tiffany sells but I don't have room here to hang it inside and I don't think it would fair well out on the barn wall.

My class at Robin's Luckystone studio was a lot of fun, as usual. She has a great space that the atmosphere is always relaxed. Though I did have a bit of tension when we were way over time and things were not felting very well. One thing that caused the class to go long was the size of the pieces. I think I forgot to tell the students to keep the layout so that it is about 4" from each side of the plastic. And I was so busy making sure that the layout of white wool was in the right proportion for their image that I missed the fact that the pieces were so big. I also forgot one of the steps I do in the wet felting process. I should not be surprised that I could forget something like that when I forget so many things. In fact my forgetfulness is why I started this blog. It was not a total disaster and I kept my cool. It just made for a long day. Thank goodness that Robin was there to help with the felting and fulling! The second day went as usual, and everyone seemed very happy with what they learned. Because the pieces were large not many of them were nearly finished, but students left with a plan and the knowledge of how to further develop the piece. I think of my class as being geared toward learning principles and techniques and not a project class. Maybe more technical than some folks want. I am going to think about ways to tweak the class and or develop another more elementary class for people who don't care so much about landscape principals and just want to make nice images.

Here are photos of the pieces as they left the studio...though I missed one student's work.

This is by my friend Gail Trautz. I will see her again so I can hopefully see what she does to further develop the piece. I also know her well enough to tease her about it if she does not work on it more, as she said she would.  Do you hear that Gail?

Here is Lori's piece. She is another Guild member and has taken my class before.  She plans on beading this some more to give some shine and texture to the flowers.

Here is Bea's piece. It is interesting to me that in some classes there are several students who use a lot of the yarns, neps, burs, angelina, etc. that I bring for embellishing, while some classes use very little or none.

Here is Sarah's piece. It was so big that it did not fit on my pinning board. (Everyone starts off with the same size plastic to layout on)!

Here is Pat's piece. She used one of the new yarns I bought at Webs, another dangerous place that is just too close to my house. (My other pledge was that I will not buy anymore yarn)! I sometimes wonder if I just do this kind of work so I have an excuse to buy more crafty stuff.

And last but not least, here is Barbara's piece. Robin told me that she came to the studio later to buy some fiber and told Robin how much she enjoyed the class. I love hearing that!

Now that I am done with my scheduled classes maybe I can play with some of those new fleeces....


  1. Your work honestly blows me away. Looking at the photo of the grapes, I honestly wasn't sure at first it was felt. And your students' work is beautifully done as well. I look forward to getting the opportunity to take one of your classes.

  2. Thank you, Ashling. I am sorry if I confused you; the picture of the grapes is a colored pencil drawing. The landscape with the barn is a felt. I do hope you will be able to make it to one of my classes. I look forward to meeting you. Diane