Saturday, September 24, 2011

Felt United

I have been working on my entry for the Felt United exhibit on October 1st. Now in its third year, Felt United is an event in which celebrates feltmaking all around the world. On this day feltmakers display in public a felt piece created based on a theme. Other events that serve to educate and celebrate felt in all its forms are also planned in places all over the globe. An online exhibit of the pieces is then created.This event was started by two amazing women who deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they put in to make this event happen; Elis Vermulean and Cynthia Reynolds. Last year I was honored to have my entry be the first one that appears in the online exhibit. This piece was also shown in the FiberArts magazine article about the exhibit.
This years theme is the last slice of the color wheel, blue through red. The first two years of the event covered red to yellow then yellow to blue. Since reds are not my usual colors I needed to start by dyeing some silks in those colors.

This last one I liked so much I decided not to cut it up for this project.
I am not done with the piece yet and normally would not write this post until it was finished but I wanted to let my non-Facebook friends (esp. Joei (BTW when ya gonna update that blog?)) see what I was working on. Here it is so far...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Felt Workshops in August. PART TWO

The student exhibition at the Felter's Fling was wonderful. It was nice to be able actually see and touch some of the work of artists that I have only known through the Internet. The quality of the work was so high and it was great to see such diversity in how we all use this wonderful medium. So much inspiration! Here is a sampling...(unfortunately I do not have the artists name for all the pieces shown here).

 This piece is by Diane Gonthier. I wish I could remember the title. It was something poetic about the beauty of getting older.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Felt Workshops in August. PART ONE

I have been lucky enough to take two different workshops in August. Since I was a self taught feltmaker in the beginning, it was only through the Northeast Feltmakers Guild that I had had any real instruction. I took my first official (ie paid for) class two years ago with Linda Veilleux and the next summer I spent a week at Shakerag in India Flint's Quiltfelt Landskin class. Having two back to back workshops this year was a big deal for me. Especially as the first one was at the Felter's Fling. I had decided that if this was going to be the last year that Sharon Costello was going to run the Fling I was going to go whether I could really afford it or not. Because I have been teaching I decided that it was important for me to take workshops myself. Teaching has also given me some extra funds to reinvest in my feltmaking.
The Fling surpassed my expectations. I WAS expecting the felt work in my Scandinavian Rug class to be physically grueling. It was. (I am glad I did some training by making two natural fleece rugs on my own; plus all my gardening!) What I was not expecting was how easy everything else was and just how wonderful it would be to spend a week with people who all spoke felt. I also wasn't expecting to learn so much outside of class, though I should have been. I find fiber artists to be so much more willing to share and support than groups of artists in other mediums. For example, after the show and tell for Erma Yost's class I spoke with her about using some of my old woodcut blocks for printing on fabric. I have been wanting to try this for a long time, and Erma gave me many tips and showed me which paints she like to use. So through the wonderful rug class with Rod and Karoliina, visiting the other studios, show and tell nights, and conversations with so many other feltmakers I learned so much and I am filled with ideas of things I want to try.
Here are some photos from the show and tell nights.

 Student work from Anna Gunnarsdottir's class.

Student work from Marjolein Dallinga's class.

More student work from Marjolein Dallinga's class.

Here is Janice Kissinger showing the yurt bag she made in Annemie Koenen's class.

Student work from Chad Alice Hagen's class.

 Annemie and Bruce Sargent taught a class where students learned about yurts and created their own models.

 Students in Erma Yost's class learned about different surface design techniques.

More student work from Marjolein Dallinga's class.

Here is some of the work from students in my friend Jean Gauger's Butterfly Shawl class.
To be up, the student exhibition.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trying to find my way back

It has been a very difficult summer. When I started this blog I was just trying to keep a journal for myself to help me remember the things I had been doing. One of the medications I take really effects my memory and getting older just adds to that. It was also effecting my cognitive functioning so that writing was very difficult. Since my poor memory and cognitive functioning was making me depressed I decided to reduce and then stop that medication. This was not a good idea. (This seems to be a lesson many folks with bipolar have to learn over and over.) I think things would not have been too bad but I was hit with a string of separate events that had me worrying for the lives of both of my sons and my father. A few other difficult, but minor by comparison, losses and troubles added to the burden and I cracked a bit. Except for the lessons learned through these trials I would rather not remember much of what happened since I last wrote.
I have also had trouble with blogging since it has become less of a memory aid for myself and more of a way to get my art shown to the public. I guess I never thought I would have more than a few followers. I feel like I should not reveal so much of my personal feelings here. Perhaps I need to keep this blog about my felting and my life as an artist and have my posts shorter. As a way of beginning again I will write next about the workshops I was able to take this summer.