Monday, December 28, 2009

In Progress

I am working on a wall piece and thought I would share a bit of the process. I have been looking through a book of work by Hundertwasser and he has used this interesting ladder/spine form, albeit, differently and I found immediate inspiration. I made one piece in bright yellow and blue...2 reasons...1.) Hundertwasser and 2.) I am waiting for a wool shipment and short on my usual colours. This was good for me as I was working with colour and also with wools that are slower to felt. For this piece, I wet felted a prefelt from a gorgeous blue c-1/pellsull and have laid it on a background of some of my favorite Finn wool.

I have a neat tool called a Felt-o-Matic. I have not used it often, but it was just the right tool to make a small sheet of prefelt to cut my circles for the design as I did not want to get my surface wet again during my layout. This is sold by Dianne Stoutt and comes in a couple of sizes. No affiliation, just a great tool.

Anyway, there are some resists in there, which I did not do with the first piece. This is how inspiration goes. Give yourself permission to explore what you see out there, something that speaks to you, let it evolve and make it your own. I am looking forward to wetting it out today and adding the additional design...I will show you when it is done!!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I will be sending my pod head piece to Toronto to the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery for the above show (runs from Jan 5-31st) and as well as another piece, a scarf made with merino wool...and steel wool. Looks like an amazing show. I will not likely go for the opening as I have to go to Toronto later in the month for a Board meeting, but will certainly check out the show before my meeting.

I have spent the last few days with holiday preparations and, with the exception of a couple of appointments, hope to spend lots of time in the studio working on pieces for "Adaptations", my solo exhibition in March (OMG, how friggin' long have I been saying this?) I have 6 weeks to get my master list into the gallery and it is looking pretty measly right now. I know it will get done! Oh, I received my Exhibition Assistance Grant...cheque arrived yesterday. I took a leap of faith and ordered my invitaions already with the OAC logo. Brave, huh? Livin' on the edge, that's me.

I also must already begin to think about my spring/summer teaching. I will be at New England Felting Supply in April to teach Dimensional Landscapes and Finn wool bags. If you are interested, I would suggest contacting them soon. I know they will fill quickly once officially announced. I have been fighting, and losing to, an eye infection. I will get it checked out today in hope I can get rid of the distraction. To the studio!!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

In Situ...

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photography still in progress

A very reluctant model...I will also be shooting outside in the woods with a taller "model" but it is really snowing out and the deadline for images for my publicity is tomorrow.
I really enjoy the photography part. I have the piece hung by string and it keeps spinning, so getting a clear shot is difficult. I suppose I should get it ready with the mount the I will use for the show and then it won't spin. I also need to sew a label inside so they know which is front and which is back, although it can pretty much go either way. I spent the entire day felting yesterday other than driving a child to a lesson, and we had dinner late. The headpiece dried overnight (did not take long because it was put through my handy centrifuge) resting on the cymbal stand for the drum set (hey, whatever works) Okay, coffee and then back to the studio to re- shoot!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Breaking Through

For days I have paced about, having a "great" idea and sketching it to find that after an hour that the idea is not as good as my "new" idea. I am finally proceeding with a piece for the Ontario Crafts Council exhibit (my second invitational exhibit at the OCC-the first being the toured "Elemental Connections") I need to have an image to the gallery for Monday (nothing like down to the wire!)

After toying around with several ideas that I may explore in the future, I have found I have to be true to my pods. On one hand I wonder if I am being safe, but I know that I still have that intense excitement in me for these forms. It is never routine, never the same challenges and even though I have a sketch, the piece will evolve as I build up the layers of this 3D headpiece.

I have never made a wearable pod. I can even see the image. After my Harvest installation, I feel that idea of the image has been a greater part of the work than it has been in the past. I have many ideas about photographing this piece on my head in many environments. It may be more cost effective for now to hire (or bribe) a model and photograph this myself than to be the model and hire the photographer. Well, now I am just getting ahead of myself...I have 48 hours to finish the felt (and start it!), let it dry and shoot it! Time to turn the heater on in the studio, add a splash of coffee to some cream and sugar, and get to "work".

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Cover of issue (not my work, FYI)

I sent one of the kids up the long driveway in the snow to the mailbox this afternoon and I opened my new issue of FeltMatters with excitement. I first noted one of my pieces on the back cover and then leafed through to find my article (above). This issue (the magazine of the International Feltmakers Association) is a good one with lots of exciting diverse things happening internationally. I have a copy for you, Tracy! (the photographer)

After driving all over the place this morning and once everyone decided they really wanted to be at home, I was able to head into the studio and I am well on my way to start the piece for my next exhibition (Body + Object). I have been true to my pod-loving self and will be making a piece of head wear (I can't in good consciousness call it a "hat") I am still "percolating", have made a template, but ideas are still evolving! the anticipation is building.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Hey, we actually had one of these when I was growing up. My mom had a galley kitchen in our little house in Alberta Canada with lime green cupboards and a little window at the end that looked out onto the patio and the cherry bush.

I have spent the day working and have not touched wool. I am pacing about, taking notes, making sketches, doing google searches. I even took a trip out to my husbands shop for shot gun shells. I am percolating ideas for this "Body + Object" show that I have 6 days to start and finish work for. I have a back up idea, but would like to really have a solid piece that makes a statement. Not sure what I want to say...maybe I want to say too much. When we think of what we wear and what it communicates (or conceals). I am in about 10 directions. This is the hard part...

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Felted scarf suggestion!

I had mentioned how much I loved the green scarf I made (and sent to the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop). This is made from a length of hand-dyed silk pongee (wonderful lustre!) that I bought from New England Felting Supply They really know how long we need to start for a nuno scarf and their colours are amazing! While it certainly cost more, you really do have part of the "art" done. You will need to email them and ask what colour ways they have in stock. I have recently seen "kits" that are sold with a length of silk that is too short if you properly felt and full and want a nice length, but these silks from NEFS are super long and ready to go. Just lay on the wool and felt. Make sure you full it to a.) get the wonderful texture and b.) to complete the felting process!! I have lots of white pongee in my silk bin and keep thinking I should run a couple of dye pots. I have some Acorn's Journey orders to fill, some deadlines for things for exhibitions coming up (I better look at my planner!) before I can think about playtime with the dye pots!

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Before and After...

These are the scarves finished! I will post a couple of other detail images as you can't really appreciate them at this distance. The green one on the right is so pretty with a hand-dyed silk pongee. I think it was a piece that I bought at New England Felting supply as the ones I did had more yellow (a flavine yellow that bleeds like there is no tomorrow-whatever that means- so I am reluctant to felt into it). I sent 9 scarves and wraps to the Ontario Crafts Council guild shop moments (can you feel the excitement?) ago along with 40 photo cards. The wraps were awesome. I have to make one for myself!

Next pieces I need to work on are pieces for "Body + Object" at the Ontario Crafts Council gallery. I am thinking urban, spiky, inhospitable. Something that deters touch for the body (although we all know people will want to touch it) Umm, okay, as I am lost in my artsy youngest is out in the snow rolling a giant snowball wearing shorts. Anyway, back to art...I have to play with that idea..a contrast between texture and form...cashmere spikes? touch me/don't touch me. I think I am on to something.

I also received a call from Carolyn Butts if Bon Eco design about the felt she wants me to make for her high end automans. She is entering a design show in N.Y. and I now have a deadline...I will let her know Monday...Oh, I love my job (really!)

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Only a few thousand rolls to go...

It has been a very sad week and more to come with a funeral on Saturday for my very, very dear Mother-in-Law. One of the sweetest ladies ever. Needless to say, the focus has been family and fitting in felting instead of sleep was not a good plan. I must admit to staying up very late one night to finish some scarves that had been wet out and were sitting under plastic. I was worried they would get moldy after hours of layout...not good.

I must get a collection of scarves out to one of my galleries and once these four are felted, fulled and labeled, they will head out with the others hopefully to be snapped up by holiday shoppers! I also have a few shibori neck wraps from last year that I will send as well. I also will make up some cards to send along. FYI...these scarves start at about 106 inches ('cause I know you will ask!)

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Friday, November 27, 2009

German Felt Magazine- The big picture

Okay, I know my installation "Harvest" will be featured in three magazines the month of December...FeltMatters (the journal of the International Feltmakers Association), the Dutch felt magazine and the German Felt Magazine (pictured above). I was so excited to find the envelope in my mail box, not sure what I would find. I opened page 14/15 and "Whoa, that's a big picture!". I did not expect the images (taken by photographer Tracy Olan) to be printed so large, but I am obviously very happy as they look amazing on the page of this fine magazine.

I just love this magazine (they sell it at New England Felting Supply if you are looking for it). I have just glanced through it and cannot wait to sit down and slowly pour over it. Too bad I do not speak German! I do, however, love a good schnitzel. One thing I did notice is a new book by Annette Quentin-Stoll that I must, and I mean must, add to my library. I am going to seek it out now!

On another note, our family is having a very tough time and more tough times to follow as we see the heartbreaking decline and imminent passing of a very, very dear member of our family. Please keep us in your thoughts and hold your loved ones close. Peace.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Not a great picture, but give me a is early and I have only had one cup of coffee. Aren't they purdy? I am working away, as my current schedule permits, to get a dozen scarves to one of my galleries, the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop. Thye have the most amazing selection of fine craft, it knocks my alpaca socks off. These collage scarves are what some would call "nuno", perhaps, (I prefer the tern "Laminate" ) but these ones are my fall/winter (and spring in Canada) weight. The green one is wider and a cross between a wrap and a scarf. I have 2 more laid out ready to felt. I can't wait to get to them! Unfortunately the deal with the buyer of my other business has fallen through so the search begins for another buyer. It will happen when the time is right! Have a great day, all and felt something, will ya'?!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is my piece for the Connections fibre group exhibit titled "Naked"at the Dundas Carnegie Gallery in February. My piece is titled "Exposed". It is made with superfine white merino. It is still a little wet and the felted spheres are very firmly felted and quite heavy.
I have now cleaned off my table and I am going to lay out some scarves. I have tons of work to do for my solo show, but I want to get several scarves to the guild shop for holiday shopping time! I did get my grant report done and an entry for a juried, progress is being made!!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fairy Grant-Mother

Whew! As membership dues become due (has it been a year already?), giving campaigns begin and show fees and expenses roll, in my bank account counts down. I picture a digital counter with the bleeping and blipping sound from the show "24" not far from self destruct. Just in the nick of time, I receive notification that I have been "recommended" for an exhibition grant. The process involves applying to a recommender designated by the Ontario Arts Council (in this case) and then the ball is in their court to send a cheque. I am so relieved that I can now order invitations and budget for my hanging expenses in March.

On the go:
"Naked"- group exhibition at the Carnegie gallery in Dundas (March)
"Body + Object"- invitational group exhibit at the OCC gallery, Toronto (Jan)
"Inspiration and Exploration"- group exhibit, Kingston (March)
"Fiberart International"- Juried exhibition, Pittsburgh (April)
"Adaptations"-solo show, John Parrott gallery, Belleville, Ontario (March) committments. Yikes. can you say overwhelmed!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet and Sour

The ying and the yang, the good and the bad, the sweet and the sour. That was my day in Toronto.

The sour: leaving a meeting in downtown Toronto, child by my side, in the dark, to find where I parked completely devoid of vehicle. No tire marks, no stray hubcap, just tumbleweeds. Crap. Towed. A phone call to the parking authority and impound, bank machine, hail cab, drive to a lovely neighbourhood to leave wearing a barrel with suspenders to drive home.

The sweet: Adding a gallery to my list of places that carry my work (the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop) and being asked to be part of a group exhibition at the Crafts Council Gallery on Queen in January.

Now the sweet and sour of being back home in the studio...making the work!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm IN!

"Liberatio Captivus"

Happy dance here!

As I was racing from place to place this summer teaching all over, I had to pick and choose what juried shows I was going to enter as putting these things together takes so much time and all the deadlines seemed to come at once. I have been feeling disappointed that I did not enter Ontario Craft '09. This biennial event highlights the best craft in the province and, as someone who was juried in for '07, I felt it was something I should have entered, but just did not have the time. However, I did opt to enter Fiberart International I have entered before and did not get in. I now know that over 700 artists entered with 1600 pieces of work for only 87 places in the exhibition. This show travels for a couple of years to some pretty prestigious venues. In any case, I made it in with the piece above, "Liberatio Captivus". Pretty happy. This one will look good on the resume and I can look forward to possibly taking a trip to Pittsburgh for the opening.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Okay, this image has nothing to do with my day, but I find it so disturbingly funny. Not sure why it makes me laugh. Perhaps it is my mood. I have had the occasion recently where I have been really tired and something sets me off and I can't stop laughing. It is like when you could go either way...laughing or crying over nothing. Wow, how random!

I did spend the day felting. I even fed the kids lunch, which often does not happen on a Saturday if I am in the studio. I finished the last of a 3 pod collection. Of course, my entire exhibit will be pods, at this point, but these 3 will hang together. The theme for my "Connections" group show is "Naked". I have an idea for a piece I will title "exposed" and I plan on starting tomorrow with some superfine merino and maybe some silk. I will post images of it in progress and when it is done!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's New and the Wall of Yum

What's new...
I have not felted the last couple of days, but NO this does not mean I have not been working. I am always working...I eat, sleep and live felt. Today I sat for a while and sketched and planned, which morphed into something else. I have a meeting tomorrow and am not in the studio Friday, so the idea will percolate a little longer before I drive into the soapy water. I have actually been organizing my space, going through baskets of long forgotten fibres and odds and ends that just take up space in my head that I do not have to spare.

Wall of Yum
I organized my wool wall and even with all this, I have a "need to buy list" once I have some cash flow. Thinking of selling a kidney for some more Karakul.

The wool wall divides 2 spaces. Behind the wall is my "store", Acorn's Journey, and on *this* side is the studio with my big custom table, another tall long table and my other shelves. I am having a sink put in very soon (the plumber has been too busy to make little ol' me a priority) and, once I claim the store space in March (I am selling), a counter and storage will run along the wall under my window. Well, enough dreaming..back to work.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009


There ya' go. Simple form. Monochrome. Organic. Wow.

I was teaching last spring at one of my favorite places, New England Felting Supply, and wonderful felt friend, Jess, created a resist feature on her pod/pillow that I knew struck a familiar chord with me. Soon after, I found this image in my inspiration file and it was such an example of how we can create from a place inside and it is like we are channeling another world. Just love it. I plan on my own twist, taking inspiration from this beautiful form and then making it my own.

Tomorrow is also a big day. I find out if the person I am hoping to buy my business is going to proceed. I hope she does as it would be such a good fit with so much potential. Baby steps.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Woman's Perogative... to change her mind, right?
Well, I am too excited about my pods so decided to show a sampling! I am not pleased with the 2d piece in the works (previously posted) I was trying to create stuff to fill walls instead of following my heart and just letting things happen. I need to not be inside my head when I enter the studio and not over think my composition before I get there. When starting new work, I like to purge my studio walls of all reminders of past scraps, no pieces waiting to be finished, no photographs of a landscape I might like to get to "some day". I have printed out images from my inspiration file that deal only with the direction of this exhibit and put them on the wall I can see from my table. I also did a few simple sketches and will just allow my creative self to take over. Year before last, I had a show every month of the year (although not solo shows) and I remind myself that I just "made" without considering what had to go where and trusted it would all fit together in the time it needed to, and it did. With the task ahead, I think the same approach may be the best plan!
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Making more sense?

Sorry it is a rush this morning!

I am looking forward to finishing the layout of this piece and will start to wet it out this morning. The wool is on the course side of medium. The base is a batt of mixed breed wool from Birkeland Bros. I like it because it felts well, once it wets out, and it is inexpensive! I think I will give them a call today and order some more. It is perfect for wall pieces and home decor stuff. Note the stormy grey sky? It's because I am out of blue! I am expecting it any day. The landscape in the centre will have more detail and the "plates" will have another few steps. The silverware will be stitched on after and I need to go to Value Village and find another old tarnished set like the one shown. I am feeling better about the piece since yesterday and am excited to get the boys to school and come back home to work!
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Piece in progress

Exciting, Huh!? Believe it or not, this will be a landscape! I am working on pieces for my March exhibition "Harvest/Adaptations". I might rename the exhibit..have not decided yet as I still have a bit of time and not sure how the pieces will evolve. I have just completed a set of 9 pods and would love to post images, but all pieces that will be for the show will not be shown on my blog until they hang, I have decided. I will show images of work in progress and may show little snips here and there, but really want the show to be a special "unveiling" of this body of work. I do have 2 other group shows and will share that work once I get some ideas and get things started! The theme for my Connections fibre group exhibit at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas is "Naked", so have been trying to cook up some ideas. I concentrated before I went to sleep hoping something would come to me in the night as it often does, but no dice. Will have to try again!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Slice O' My Life: What's in the mail today?

Hmm, let's see, "What is in the mail today?" I ask myself as I pull alongside my mailbox in my van on the way to pick up my boys from school. Sometimes it is a glossy magazine that I can't wait to leaf through and permit myself to do so at the red light (if it is a felting magazine, some swerving may occur). Sometimes it is a plain white envelope that looks too much like a Visa statement to warrant my attention. Today, I took a look at what I received and recognized it is a perfect snapshot of where I am at.

I remember a time, not so long ago, when it was unusual for me to even receive mail. Maybe a birthday card from my aunt or a solicitation of donation from Greenpeace. Now I know that at least 50% of what is in that green mailbox has my name on it..even sometimes "Andrea Graham-Feltmaker" as if my craft is an extension of me, which, incidentally, it is.

Today I find:
1.) A postcard from Jean Hicks (with a little personal note) inviting me to attend the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft exhibition (Jean will be in booth #319, if you can make it)
2.) A "thank you, but no thank you" letter from the Niche Awards (oh, well..a shot in the dark considering I have no "production" work)
3.) A request to participate in a fundraiser "The Great Furniture Revival" for the Andy Fund (for children with cancer) to give life to an old piece of furniture using art.
4.) A CD if images from curator Gail Perrone of my past group show in Colorado
5.) A letter from the Embroiderers Association inviting me to teach next summer.
6.) Organic Gardening Magazine- a magazine that I aspire to actually one day read and put in practice.
7.) A catalogue from a supplier for my other business that I am not even going to open, but will pass on to the new owner (yet to be determined)

What this all says to me is that it is clear that my art life is not something I could ever deny. I wonder why I am forever seeking outside confirmation that this is so? It took a mail box full of art related correspondence today to affirm "Hey, you are an artist!". I suppose it is normal to have insecurities, especially when the nature of our business is being vulnerable and allowing our soul to be viewed by the public on a daily basis. Now, speaking of denial, I think that white envelope got left in the van. I'll bring it in tomorrow.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Penguin Killer

I was running late today which meant there was no time for a shower before leaving the house. I was still wearing my PJ's and slippers and the youngest had breakfast on the road, truth be told.

This meant that when I returned home I had time to let the shower run long and hot. No rush. Lots of steam. The boys, if witnessing, would accuse me of being a penguin killer with all the fresh, precious water that was streaming from the shower head and down the drain. Long, hot showers cleanse more than the skin. All cares, thoughts of growing "to do" lists, and occasional salty tears merge with each water drop, spill over shoulders and swirl like a tiny hurricane at our toes. Running late has it's advantages.... as long as you are not a penguin, that is.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shifting Gears

After cruising around the last several months with my standard transmission on cruise control, it is now time to start shifting. All the teaching from the last year had been set long before and I have drifted from place to place meeting wonderful people and teaching fun things. Now, with exhibitions ahead, it is time to take control and take the long winding road inside my head and see what comes of it through my hands.

My work for a solo exhibition must be done by the end of February and I am also part of 2 group shows in the same time frame. I am not sure what work will go were as I am also waiting to hear about 2 (3?) other juried exhibition's. All this with the holidays coming and a busy time for my other business...the business I am getting ready to sell, which complicates things further! Of course, the 3 boys and the rest of life occurring simultaneously.

I am setting boundaries and budgeting my time, guarding my home/studio space carefully. No visitors/shoppers and only one day per week in town for business matters. I anticipate lots of bumps in the road, a pothole or two, and days I may be stuck in neutral, but I am moving forward.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fiber Dynamics with Christine White

YES! I am back. I really did have the intention of posting while I was at Chris White's taking my (invitational) Advanced Felting Lab, but I was so immersed in the experience day and night, I really don't know where the time went. Long days in the studio exploring different fibres and listening to the wool. Fiber Dynamics is a term Chris uses to "...describe the change in position and spatial relationship of fibres during the feltmaking process." Such a mystery continues to unfold under our hands as we felt. I think so many of us have not considered how we can tune in and use our observations to create the best felt we can . I have set a standard for myself and felt that something was missing...I was missing a piece of a on-going puzzle and I needed to find it before I could advance. I have a need to have a greater understanding of how to listen to my wool , have a "dialogue"and make observations to acheive the best felt I can create. I am just beginning to understand and Chris has allowed this monumental change in the road possible. It is like she has held my hand and shown me the path of knowledge in this medium that I personally need to follow. The creative aspect, the art aspect, will come. I would like to know that centuries from now, perhaps my felt may be around as an example of felt in our time. Chris has worked for a long time to learn what she has and I am so happy, honoured and humbled to follow...

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Road to Happy (ness)

If only it were this easy! Today I am split in several directions. I am thinking about: packing and getting ready for Massachusetts, wondering if I lay out a scarf in the next few hours if I can get it done to take, planning my day on Tuesday since tomorrow is a holiday (Canadian Thanksgiving) and hoping I can get out of town by noon with all that I need to get done and making sure I spend some quality time with my boys (all of them) before I go. None of which is going to get done with me sitting here! I will check back with you and let you know if I have found the road to happiness on the google map, in the meantime!
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Friday, October 9, 2009

On the Road Again

After a busy weekend of taking kids here and there, Canadian Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, and trying to cram in making another scarf to take, I am off to Massachusetts to visit my beautiful friend, Chris White, author of Uniquely Felt. I am spending the last of my grant from the Ontario Arts Council and taking Chris' "Felting Lab". I will spend 4 days up close and personal with lots of wool and taking a structured scientific approach in the creation of felt with Chris' guidance. I am so, so ready for this and find that I am ready to really deepen my understanding of the process and result and challenge myself in whatever way I can.

I have a submission to put together before I leave and I will take a couple of scarves for Chris' gallery shop at New England Felting Supply I have another entry to put together as soon as I return...then work for the galleries and my show...The timing for this lab is so perfect, I have a tear in my eye. To have all that I have worked so hard for in my heart, and head, and fingertips ready to turn inward in my studio is such a gift.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toronto: Cashmere, people watching and personal safety

Hey! Just noticed this is my 101th post. How is that possible? Dunno!

Yesterday, which you already know, I was in Toronto. What a city Toronto is! Ya' know, I have always thought of myself as a big city girl living in the county, but must admit feeling out of my element yesterday. I was in an unfamiliar area and I really dislike the driving here and there and trying to find parking ($40 in parking yesterday!) and I am a scaredy cat for the subway unless I am with a seasoned subway traveler to hold my hand!

I arrived early and went to the art supply store (missed my package-already mailed), the guild shop (bought 2 pair earrings that I l-o-v-e) and then putzed around (regretting already being dressed for the evening wishing I had on my Chuck Taylors). I parked across from where the auction would be and started walking, knowing I would eventually find a Starbucks, which I did. I had a brewed bold, with more cream and sugar than I care to admit, and sat next to a very handsome gay couple talking on their smart phones of slate tile and early meetings, and looking jaunty with their Burberry scarves and distressed demin (faces-not distressed). I sat and sketched in my sketch book, people watched (without staring or I might get my ass kicked), eavesdropped on conversations and admired some great (and curious) fashion statements. Note to self: Feb. birthday, cashmere hoodie (yum)

My beautiful, supportive friend, Jen, has just moved to TO with her talented and beautiful daughters, Zoe and Max, and she met me at the Spark event. Lots of fab stuff. I bought raffle tickets and yet another pair of fabulous earrings and a piece I made that I could not let go. Great to see everyone. Back to Jen's to see the girls, have tea and headed home in the dark, dark night to arrive home in the wee hours only to wake a few hours later to make sub sandwiches. I can wear cashmere to make sandwiches, right?

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Toronto today

I head off to Toronto today as I have an opening and auction event for the Ontario Crafts Council. This will center around Art made by a group of us over the summer at "Spark" collaborative lockdown back in July (which seems an eternity ago!) I am really looing forward to seeing my fellow "sparks" and continuing collaboration in the future. I will get the boys to school and take the 2.5 hour drive in and make some stops at Above Ground Art Supply (they were suppossed to send me supplies last week that have not arrived, so need to...enquire)

I will also check out Romni Wools (of course!) and stop at the OCC Guild Shop to say "Hi" to manager Rob Ridgeway and see all the fabulous fine craft and maybe support a crafts person or 2 as much as my limited bank account will allow!

Tracy has completed my images from the farm installation shoot and I already have some publication interest. I have also just mapped out the hanging space for my March exhibit.91 feet of empty wall space is a bit daunting. Ablank slate, and an experienced and very competent curator, I might add will make this an exciting time for me. Fingers crossed for my exhibition grant. I will keep you posted.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

FELT UNITED- "Harvest"

These are the 2 images I have seen so far from my shoot with Tracy Olan of Beautiful Day
Perhaps an explanation is in order...I have been working for some time now on organic form in my art that, to me, is much about the politics of food, the safety of food and the terrible things our consumer culture does to the environment.
For the International Day of Felt, the required colours to work in were red/orange/yellow. I decided to create and installation/performance piece for this day that would then also be part of my solo exhibtion in March. I am pictured harvesting my pods from the garden and collecting strange 'eggs' from the nests of hens as if I am simply doing this as a course of my daily rountine, as people who grow food do everyday. I think so few people think about if what we have done to our food on the inside was manifested in it's appearance, our food would not be something we would readily accept. Are we aware of what is grown right in to our pesticide laden foods? If you could see it, what would it all look like? I had a thought of me harvesting these in a haz-mat suit...overstating the issue. I don't know.
Thanks to Rick and Janet (and the "girls") of Cedarstone Acres
and Frank the Farmer and keeper of beautiful sheep for the use of their farms.
A very special Thanks to Tracy who can expect big things ahead. She has a fabulous eye.
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

My far.

Gifts from Frank's garden.
My day began early for a dreary Sunday morning. It was one of those mornings I could have stayed cuddled under my down comforter, turning on my side lamp and reading for a couple of hours before being swept away back to dreamland. But the damp morning air met me full of anticipation for what the day would bring....

I met photographer Tracy Olan and her assisitant (who's name I can't recall, but was super wonderful!) at the farm of Janet and Rick. They photographed me collecting my strange dismorphic felted "eggs" in the chicken coop. The chickens were very cooperative with their confused expressions as the looked at the eggs... and me... and tipped their heads. There were moments of flapping wings in my hair and poop on my hands and gently encouraging clucking and pecking hens into places they did not know they wanted to go. We then went up the road to Frank's farm where I "planted" some of my felted pods and they captured me "harvesting" them with the backdrop of beautiful fall colours. Both of these were done in the colours for FeltUnited so will be submitted to the event. They will also become part of my exhibition that will take place at the John Parrott Gallery in Belleville in March.

The day is young, although I am thoroughly pooped. The plan is to spend the rest of the day on work to send out to some galleries, a gift for a very special friend, or just some reflection on the day and a few hours with my sketch book...or perhaps I will pick up where I left off this morning with my comforter, lamp, book...zzzzzzz....

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great 3 Days with a "Beautiful Woman"

I must have been very good in a past life to have all the awesome women (and men/boy folk, too) that I do in my life.

Cheryl-Ann Webster, creator of The Beautiful Women Project has been my student the past 3 days in my studio working on some felting techniques before she moves to a too far away city. Her project has touched many, many lives and has brought about so many discussions. I hope one day soon Cheryl-Ann (pronouced with a "ch" like chair, I have learned) writes a book about all her experiences and correspondence. She's one smart cookie, a terrific artist and a good friend. Check out her website, have a look around and love yourself, even if it is just for a moment, it is a start.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Endeavor- Long in coming...

Automan by Carolyn Butts of Bon Eco gallery/design

Several Years ago now, I had a call from woman looking for tires. My husband used to race cars and she, Carolyn Butts of Bon Eco gallery (please look at the site- really great stuff) was making fabulous home decor items from post consumer rubber. One converation led to another, we met again at an art festival and since that time, we have been bouncing around ideas to combine our areas of expertice. Well, this is finally coming to fruition. Carlolyn has designed a subwoofer that doubles as a piece of one-of-a kind furniture. I will be creating a piece of felt to be used as the fabric to cover the top of the piece. Carolyn will offer this as an option for custom orders and I (or Carolyn) will consult with the purchaser on design and colour, etc. This is a high end product so it is not like we are going to in full on production and not every order for these pieces will desire the felted wool cover. I have yet to calculate the cost, but this will vary depending on type of wool and design elements. Carolyn has delivered the base (actually a prepared tire that was once on my husbands race car! It is a "slick" no treads) of a prototype for the felted top and this will be sent off to design shows and high-end electronics venues...I wonder what will come of it??

In the meantime, I continue to work on my FeltUnited pieces ready to install next Saturday to recognize the International Day of Felt. I then must lay out some scarves requested by New England Felting Supply gallery and work for another gallery the Silo Weavers Gallery. I have a private student here in my studio Mon/Tue/Wed, so whatever does not get done before then is on hold until later in the week. Lots to do...all good stuff. I am so happy to be back "making"...feels good!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stunning Image

Yes...stunning image. This is breast cancer.

I had the privilege today to have a woman in my studio that I am so proud to include amoungst my circle of friends. She has been an artist for decades, making a living in the fibre arts with fine knit wearable art. Her work is fun, colourful and lively, much like her. Last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She arrived at an Artists in Business meeting with a shaved head, which I foolishly first though was a fashion statement as she looked so fabulous completely bald. I was shocked to hear of her diagnosis. This fabulous talented woman went on to endure chemo and a double mastectomy and now has the nicest, perkiest boobies ever...and best yet, she is cancer free. Rock on, Carolyn. You kicked some cancer butt!

She is now in a new phase of her career, branching out into complimentary mediums (like hand-made felt!) and receiving long overdue serious recognition. Carolyn is raising money for the RUN FOR THE CURE. If you would like to donate, you can do so here: Bye-Bye cancer

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Almost Complete

15 inches wide x 32.5 long

I completed another stage of the landscape piece. I still need to give it a final wet felt to finish the surface and complete the mount on the back for hanging. This is to go to a gallery in St. Jacobs once I have a couple more to send with it. It has been a while since I have made a landscape and my process has changed...or shall I say evolved. I took me by surprise actually. I can't even tell you how or in what way it has changed, it just has...allow me to ponder (and go fetch the kids)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Progress

Working on the newest landscape

Initial layout of the landscape

After a quick errand downtown to drop of a disk to my grant writer extraodinaire, Lindsey, I am now home to work on a landscape for the Silo Weavers Gallery. I had planned on laying out 3 and rolling them together, but was reminded after laying out one that that is just not how I work. Each piece must be started and finished before I begin another. I like to really live with one piece at a time and not divide my energy. I am the same with every piece including something that appears mundane and old-hat like scarves. Each piece demands my attention to every detail and creative energy. This results in a truly one of a kind that is a part of me, heart and soul.
My middle one is home with a cold today so he was nice enough to take the picture of me working. Quick lunch and back to work.
I have already worn a spot on my finger today and my work is just beginning. You would think I would build up callouses of some sort, but glad I have not or, perhaps, I would not be as sensitive to the changes in the wool under my hands. More later....happy creative days ahead...

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus