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)  

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  1. Such an uplifting column…Truly enjoying your words (and travels). I think that Nicola could probably turn the global economy around with her positive attitude, work ethic, gift of sharing, and warmth. Isn’t it wonderful the friends that we meet, with no limitations based on our proximity to one another? So glad to be living in this day and age where we are able to communicate with others from around the world.


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