Wild Thing, Raven’s Wing

Cobweb felt, but with enough silk fiber to provide strength.  This wrap is long, almost 70 inches, and about a foot wide, and it weighs a bit over two ounces.

The bottom layer is a mix of silvery white tencel/merino blend; and the top layer is a silver Alpaca and silk top that was hand-painted a color named “Raven’s Wing,” from Spirit Trail Fiberworks.   “Spirit Trail” is a good name for the source of this evocative top that is heavenly to work with: the colors are deep and organic, and remind me of stone (a nod to the spirit of all those Irish hedgerows) as well as the iridescence of a raven’s wings.  I added many different colors of silk fibers in the design, and I took a lot of care and attention as I fulled the piece on a washboard and by throwing it, to keep the edges fine and burnished -looking.  Thank you, Spirit Trail.

 

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Published in: on June 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Back to the Beginning, with an Irish accent…

Since falling in love with feltmaking about seven years ago, I have been continually amazed at how inherently therapeutic feltmaking is, from start to finish.  In so many ways, it seems to me that at the heart of the craft, feltmaking symbolizes a sort of “antidote”  — slow, authentic, natural, hand-crafted, useful, wholesome, sustainable, celebratory.

Touring Ireland in June, I marveled at the number of beautiful sheep that were grazing on lush, green fields.  What abundance!   What potential!  I like to imagine Ireland embracing a fiber arts revolution: home-spun and indie creations of all sorts revitalizing the economy and sharing the exquisite Celtic motifs and incredibly rich, evocative colors and textures of the Irish landscape, a palette of greens and earth, sea and rock, sky and rainbows.

It’s thrilling to see fiber artist Nicola Brown writing, touring, teaching, sharing images on her “Clasheen” blog; and to see all of the ways she is sharing the charm and warmth of Ireland with others at the same time she shares all about feltmaking.  She is a natural ambassador, for Ireland and for feltmaking.

Images of sheep appear all over Ireland: on t-shirts and dish towels, calendars and jewelry, these lovely symbols of Ireland delight and amuse.  I don’t think it’s too optimistic or too much of a creative leap to suggest that Ireland’s economic recovery will be nurtured by this abundant natural resource.  And I imagine a lot of fiber artists and others who love to work with fiber will have a lot of fun while the recovery unfolds!

 

Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm  Comments (1)  

Ireland!

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Back from Ireland

Ireland was enchanting, welcoming, beautiful, interesting!

So many friendly folks.  Fine travel companions; and a lovely, witty tour guide and a bus driver with a beautiful and soulful singing voice, both of them sharing unwavering good humor and kindness, who nurtured and entertained us.

So many beautiful sheep grazing in deep green fields, the patchworks of hedgerows transforming the landscape into quilt-like compositions.  Cultural richness and evocative charm all around — AND the pleasure of meeting Nicola Brown (“Clasheen” blog) at the Kilkenny Sheep & Wool Festival.  My cup runneth over, with joy — and Guinness.

I am longing to explore the Celtic motifs in felt: spirals, interlaced patterns, torcs.  My senses and my spirit are overflowing: abundance and gratitude.

But first, the laundry…

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm  Comments (3)