Saturday, January 10, 2009
I’ve always liked a challenge. When the Bloomington Area Arts Council assembled ‘Small’, showing pieces of less than a square foot, I had to try. As you likely know, most of my pieces are three-dimensional wall hangings, but in the last two years I started making Christmas ornaments. I’ve also made a number of needle felted-creatures to live in my weavings so I set out to try something new and make small pieces. The theme was ‘Shhh… the trees are sleeping’, and I tried to imagine what trees were thinking in the long winter months. The frames and the background are needle-felted and the trees that emerge are wool wrapped around flexible copper wire from the Recycle Center. The show is up at the Bloomington Bagel Company through January if you’d like to see the collection on display.
This week a new challenge crept onto my schedule. Gladys Newsom, an art teacher at University Elementary School, contacted me and asked me about teaching a felting workshop at the end of January for the District 5 art teachers. I met Gladys at a recycled materials weaving workshop I taught at the Teacher’s Warehouse in Bloomington and I was eager to help. As a theme she suggested making hearts, with Valentine’s Day coming up. My first response, though, could be best summarized as ‘eeyewww’. This sounded too cutesy and I started thinking about alternatives. Then the side of me that likes a challenge set in and I set off to try to make a nice heart.
Perhaps unsurprisingly I came up with idea of making a three dimensional heart. I started with two walnut-sized wet felted balls and joined them by needle felting with raw wool to create the heart shapes. I coated these with bright red and very soft Merino wool from Sheep Street in Morgantown. I embellished my hearts with scroll patterns, swirls and polka dots and I was pleased with how they turned out! I scanned one to post that gives you an idea of what they look like.
Until next week…