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Friday, October 10, 2014


Felting workshop with Beth Marx coming up soon. Sooooo excited!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Salvaging a Disaster - or TWO!!!!

The trials and tribulations of a felt artist!  Too many disaster recently, so I'm trying to rectify the errors but also to experiment even more to create something good from disasters.

First Disaster:  I bought some wool yarn at one of my favorite thrift shops in town, Bargain Box of Wilmington.  It was marked 100% wool, but it did NOT mention "Superwash."  For those unfamiliar with that term, it means washable wool.  It WILL NOT shrink or felt.  Two nights knitting it to make a bag; two cycles through the washing machine and absolutely nothing!  Not one iota of shrinkage.  Not willing to throw it away (just yet), and liking to repurpose materials, and focusing on hand/wet felting now, I decided to experiment with it.


No photos to show the subsequent process!  :(

I covered the bag with ALL the scraps of BFL roving that have been hanging around for years, deciding to call it "The Scrap Bag!"  No easy task, because truly the pieces were smallish and rather shaped like pencil roving, so it took forever to cover it.  Two layers on each side with a resist inserted inside the bag.  I had hoped the roving would merge THROUGH the knitting, connect to the layers underneath, and create a grid-like patterning throughout.  NOT SO MUCH!!!




I started on Sunday, felted it yesterday, and by this morning, I came to the astounding conclusion that this will not work!  So…..this morning I pulled out the knitted bag (it was attached but not securely), and I've been working on fulling it every since.


 Once I pulled out the knitting, I actually had a bag that I thought could be worked.  It has some holes and a few strange configurations, but it looks like it can be a reversible bag once I finish with the fulling process, decide on and add embellishments, repair (somehow!) the holes (maybe freeform crochet and needle felting!), and make a strap.


I am determined to make this work.  And next time, I will follow the specific directions and videos provided by Fiona Duthie in her current Felted Bag workshop.  I'm getting inspired to try again after seeing some of the bags created by fellow workshop participants.  I'll get to this AFTER the Beth Marx workshop in mid-October.

BTW, I threw the knitted white "bag" in the trash this morning!
FINAL photos coming later, after I figure out how to finish it and add a strap!
Stay Tuned!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

State of the Art, Art of the State at Cameron Art Museum - September 20 - February 12


It only happens every three years, an event that features artwork from anyone in NC!  The work is accepted (no jurors, no fees) during a 24 hour period only, and the opening reception takes places only hours later.  It is an enormous opportunity to display one piece of art, speak with world-renowned curators, and see the huge variety of mediums, talents, and scope of creativity that exists in NC.

The event itself is awesome.  The process is daunting. The video posted on Cameron's website is of the 2011 event, when they gave themselves just ONE HOUR between accepting artwork and the opening reception.  More sane this time, but just as crazy for the staff, artists, curators, staff, and many volunteers!

I arrived at about 8 PM hoping it would be less crowded.  I had number 455, and they were only at 360 or thereabouts.  I had forgotten my phone but had my iPad and the museum's wifi, so I knew I could settle in and wait.  After talking to some artists I didn't know, I found a group of artists from my gallery, Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts, sitting at a table in the cafĂ© right near the bar.  They had numbers before mine, but I knew I'd be well-entertained at least for a good while.  Thanks to Dick Heiser, Marilyn Blackard, Melanie Walter, Dianne Masi, and Pat Holleman - and then later to Pat and Harry Hart - for making it an TRULY enjoyable experience!  Much laughter and discussion, serious and not so serious!


I decided I didn't need to speak to a curator - although now I'm sorry I didn't - so my wait time was only three hours!  My erroneous rationale was that they probably didn't know much about felting.  My entered piece is this nuno felt wrap/shawl/ wallhanging/table runner, called Sea Inspiration.  I brought it on a hanger for display, knowing they would not have space for a mannequin.  In addition, I didn't want to be minus mannequin through Feb 12 when this show ends.

Imagine my delight when I saw the TOP panoramic photo on FB with my piece centered in the image! I does indeed have a very nice and prominent spot, which I noticed the moment I walked through the entrance to the exhibit.  AND….there was NOTHING else like it in the display of almost 700 artists.  HAPPY!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014


New, extended hours on Sundays at Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts - at least through the holidays. Mon-Sat: 10-5:30; Sun: 11-5

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Felting Frenzy!


Why is it that some creative endeavors and experiments become passions?  I've found that happening with felting.  It has elements of design, color, texture, mystique and mystery, sensuousness, tactile pleasure and aggression, and so much more.  The play of silk (and other fabrics) and wool is magic. The surprise results keep one going even when exhausted, because its physicality endures long and hardy.  I CAN'T STOP FELTING!!!


This could be a problem, as the only place in my house where I can do this type of fiber artwork is in my kitchen.  I can manage to keep the mess for several days, neglecting most everything else, but then it's necessary to clean it all up.  I wish I had a permanent space to keep the mess, so it's always ready and available for even small amounts of time when I could dabble with design, give a roll, rub, or throw here or there, or even pull out potential material combinations for the next project.


Yesterday I started a new Fiona Duthie online class - this one in bag-making.  I've taken two other classes on seamless bag-making, but I've never repeated the process enough to feel I have a handle on it.  So….true to my "do it yesterday" modus operandi, I couldn't wait for the videos that accompany the class to be released today, but plunged ahead using only the written and photographed materials.  I'M STUCK!!!  Not sure if the instructions were unclear or if I just messed up, but I have an unfelted bag with resist on the kitchen counter, wool, bubble wrap, towels, soap, etc. all over the kitchen.  AND….I have to go to work today, so my felting time is limited!

To be continued……..!

Oh, and BTW, someone asked me if the wraps could be used decoratively as well as wearably, such as table runner or wall hanging.  While I think it would be difficult to decide which side to show, here are photos of these pieces on my dining room table.  What do you think?



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