Today sees the close of the Marjolein Dallinga’s Garden Of Delights Exhibition at Museo del Tessuto in Prato. Agnese Morganti captured this striking image of Marjolein working on a last connective work for that exhibition.
There are several international opportunities to study with this incredible artist in upcoming months:
Chile: April 20-22
France: June 4-8
Marjolein Dallinga’s full workshop calender can be viewed on her website: www.bloomfelt.com
Laurie Steffler is a fibre artist, felt fashion designer and instructor who is known for her sense of whimsy and playful designs. She explores colour in her work with the use of layering of fibre, fabrics and textures, and by working with the multi-layering of dye baths. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. Laurie is based on beautiful Salt Spring Island, BC.
Laurie has been teaching felt-making for 20 years. She brings to her students a broad depth of knowledge and has a wide range of exciting projects to share. She welcomes beginners and advanced students.
Over the next months, Laurie will be teaching the following workshops:
Malaspina Arts Society
Powell River, BC
March 3, 4, 5 : Designing your own: Seamless vest, dress, tunic www.artpowellriver.com
Association of Northwest Weavers, Northwest Weavers Conference
University of Victoria
June 28 -July 2
Workshops in designing your own : seamless garment, hats and nuno felted collar scarf www.anwgconference2017.com These workshops are all full.
Meet June Jacobs winner of this year’s Unwind/AureliaWool Two Dimensional Felt Award at the felt :: feutre canada national felt symposium.
June has been involved in the Saskatchewan craft scene for many years as a fibre artist, educator, workshop participant, adjudicator, juror and owner of The Hand Wave Gallery. She is the Saskatchewan Professional Art Gallery president and member, Saskatchewan Craft Council member, CARFAC member, fibre guilds member and co-ordinator of many arts related activities. She has completed artist residencies in Banff, Vallauris, France and Quebec City.
She describes her work as generally figurative and realistic. In her work she uses nuno-felting, hand and machine embroidery, appliqué and quilting. Her work is inventive and beautiful. We are thrilled she agreed to take part in our Q&A. We are certain you will enjoy learning about her creative process.
How did you discover felt making? I participated in a Saskatchewan Craft Council Insight Symposium in 1985 and Judith MacKenzie a B.C felter was there and she was my introduction to felting.
Was it love at first sight? Not really..I had previously been doing rug hooking, applique, and stitchery projects and this technique added to my arsenal of fibre techniques…I did appreciate the aspect of a relative immediate transformation that occurs with felting that does not apply to quilting , weaving or other techniques.. It is that feature that I fell in love with.
Music or no music while you work? Yes to music and all kinds. I usually begin with classical but will move to rock n roll and then blues later in the day. I am also a radio person and switch between CBC am, fm and radio Canada.
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere I look: in nature’s cornucopia, in architecture, in building material, in my garden, in the sky, in all things really.
Do you teach? I teach in workshop format. I have also mentored artists with CARFAC and have participated in two long term Saskatchewan Arts Board Artsmart school programs.
What do you enjoy about teaching? I love to discover what I will learn while I am teaching others. You always do make discoveries. Students make you think about your processes and verbalizing them acts as a form of reinforcement .
Who is your favorite artist? I love the freedom and the expression found in Marc Chagall’s paintings; and the repetitive yet ethereal expressions of and in Andy Goldworthy’s installations..and the organic forms of textile artist Simone Pheulpin.
Do you have your early work? There are a few that I have kept and photos too.
What would you say to fibre artists just starting out? Make work, lots of work, make mistakes and let them lead you to create more work. Hang them up so you can see them when you are working on something else, resolution often comes with time and when your not trying to find it, and inevitably leads your further down the creative path.
Are you a perfectionist? Not in an obsessive way…it is more about the feeling that is evoked. There is a fine line between worked enough and overworked, it is achieving the balance that I strive for in my work.
What is your philosophy about creating? Set projects that challenge you both technically and artistically, be ready for failures but view those as another way of looking at both the process of creating as well as the object itself. Place it where you can let time help to resolve the short coming of the piece. If you require deadlines to get you to your studio then enter juried exhibitions always being prepared for rejections but recognize it as just one opinion and continue with your pursuit.
Have you ever gone through a dry spell or felt blocked? Yes but only temporarily…
What did you do to get restarted? I always try to leave a project partially unfinished so that if I have to leave my studio with other commitments then when I come back I have a project to dive back into and then the result of working naturally leads to more ideas and pursuits.
What is the best workshop you’ve ever taken? Surface design workshop with Anita Luvera Mayer.
If you weren’t a fibre artist you’d be…? I have been a promoter of the arts for over 35 years and focused on fibre personally for over 30…I would always be involved in the arts.
Describe the space you create in: I work out my home with a studio space that has fibre stacked everywhere. I compose the raw fibre work there and then I move it to my expanded laundry room to do all the wet work. Yes, I have fibre bunnies everywhere in my house.
Do you have an upcoming exhibition? I have two bodies of work in my head and now is my time for developing those works. I have no committed dates.
What are you working on now? I am doing some sampling for works; finishing some commissions and juried exhibition entries.
Your favourite fibre? I have different ones for different purposes but I love the feel of bison down in my hands. It’s as luscious as butter.
Your favourite tool? A medical surgical tool for removing stitches or restricting a vessel, a hemostat. I use it to remove unwanted material from my fleece. It’s invaluable to me.
Do you dream of having time to create far from the pressures of home? Do you ever wonder how a new and exotic environment would influence your work?
Res Artis ( www.resartis.org ) is an association of over 550 centers, organizations, and individuals in over 70 countries dedicated to offering artists time and space to create in exciting cultural settings overseas. Res Artis offers artists the opportunity to become part of an intimate global community, an exchange of idea and experiences.
The Res Artis’s website is filled with invaluable information and resources about application deadlines and upcoming events. Residencies are listed alphabetically. A quick glance through the listings reveals opportunities for textile artists at Centro Rural de Arte in Argentina, ART COMMUNE International Artist-in-Residence Program in Yerevan, Armenia and Mountain Seas Art in Tasmania, Australia.
Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency in Puebla, and the textile centre of Oaxaca, Southern Mexico offers 3 + weeks long residencies based in traditional textile arts including natural pigments (cochineal, indigo, and other pigments) and Mexican textiles (weaving, embroidery, and back-strap weaving).
Applications are being accepted now through January 29th for 2017 spring and summer programs.
“The main studio is situated at the second floor of the building in a large sunny room with a view of the sea. Artists have access to a communal 7m long table and several small working tables. Basic wet felting equipment (bubble wrap, mats) is provided, and there is a large multi-functional sink. The dye studio across the street can also be used for felting with a sink and is better for messy/wet processes or loud processes that may disturb others with sound.”
Applications are accepted throughout the year for residencies of one to four months.
Earlier this month we asked you to share with us your first felt for 2017.
It has been a delight for us here at felt :: feutre canada to receive your many emails and see your posts with your first felts for 2017! Many of you started the year with a project or felt form new to you, experimented with a new technique, pushing your boundaries, began your creative year with a workshop to enhance your skills, or just created with pure joy!
We heard from feltmakers from across Canada, as well as the US and Australia, and we share some of their wonderful first felts here. Thank you, everyone, for sharing your work with us!
My first woolly piece is a sample; I was experimenting with maintaining the integrity of the locks and the texture of the natural fibres.
The next image is of my process; this will be a shawl with a yarn fringe embellished with secondary structures and fibres. I just couldn’t resist sharing, the winter sun is shinning brightly into my studio today!
My first felt for 2017 was a small vessel. It was for fundraising for Mind Australia, a mental health charity, as part of the Fibre Arts Australia Summer School in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. I participated in a workshop with Pamela MacGregor. It was an inspirational start to the year, making new friends, learning new techniques and seeing the work of other international tutors.
My first felt is this little vessel, made around a resist with merino wool, mohair curls, recycled button and a found seed pod.
Width 13cm, Height 17cm to top of seed pod.
At the moment I am playing around with small sculptural pieces and trying to incorporate found objects into each piece.
I began my new year in felt with an online class in hatmaking. I got started with the new techniques as soon as the link for the workshop arrived. I’m looking forward to incorporating more surface design techniques into the hats as well as being more adventurous in shaping. This has really given me a boost for the new year as it is so hot here that I generally don’t do much of anything in January.
This lampshade is my first felt in 2017. It combines paper, ink and felt – a technique learnt at Fiona Duthie’s workshop during the felt :: feutre Canadian Felt Symposium last year. I wanted the writing to be as clear as possible so I kept pulling the paper away from the felt, so the words could be easily read. I concentrated on felting the mid section for stability. I received a grant to take the Fibre + Paper + Ink workshop and this experimentation demonstrates what I’ve learnt and how I’ve developed the techniques. I am enjoying this!
Size 17″ high x 21″ diameter.
My first felt is a floral piece I created, starting with a space dyed blue/green merino background. The flower garden consists of yarn, tussah silk, sari ribbon, merino neps, dyed locks, silk hankies, silk noil, a bit of prefelt, and a touch of angelina sparkle!
I usually go into this kind of piece with no plan and just play with the fibers until it looks good to my eye. It is completely wet felted. My husband built a frame just for this piece. A very fun felting start to the new year!
Rosehaven Yarns in Picton, Ontario is known for its funky atmosphere, fabulous fibres and wonderful workshops. Located in the middle of gorgeous Prince Edward County, just a few hours east of Toronto and west of Ottawa, it’s the perfect weekend destination.
On February 18, 2017 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Rosehaven Yarn Shop owner, Lesley Snyder will be teaching a one-day nuno felting workshop where participants learn to make a shawl. Emphasis will be placed on exploring colour and texture. Spaces are limited so don’t hesitate if interested. The price is $145.00 including materials. This workshop will be repeated on March 18, 2017 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm).
On April 8, 2017 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Rosehaven will host a wet felted hat workshop with Chris Hall of Cake Tin Hats. To learn about Cake Tin Hats visit: http://caketinhats.blogspot.ca The workshop costs 135.00 including materials. The workshop teaches participants how to make a one-of-a-kind seamless merino wet felted hat a with a resist and a hat block. The class is perfect for both the novice and experienced felt maker. This class will run again on: June 10, 2017 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm)
May 6, 2017 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Rosehaven is hosting The Wet Felted iPad/Tablet cover Workshop with Chris Hall of Cake Tin Hat. In this class students create a felted case using merino wool over a resist pattern. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to shape their case and embellishment. This class is $120.00 including materials.
The class is inspired by India’s interest in Shibusa a Japanese philosophy of being that is ingrained in traditional Japanese culture and her own artistic work.
The workshop will focus on the creation of a coat using small pre-felts that are pieced together and stitched before the final fulling. India likes this method as it allows the artist to use cloth left over from cutting other clothes which serves as a way to keep items that one is sentimental about.
During the workshop participants will create a a paper pattern for the coat, learn how to make a lining, practise leaf printing on felt, and learn additional techniques to pattern the coat.
Participants will also venture outside to gather leaves as well as study their surroundings. India will begin each session with a creative notebook exercise in order to create an inspiring atmosphere.
The Shibusa Way: A Masterclass with India Flint
Mon. May 8, 2017 10:00am to Fri. May 19, 2017 4:00pm, $1500 [Includes $75 lab fee] class limit 16. 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L
How did you discover felt making?
My friend Cindy Obuck introduced me to felt making in 2010. She invited me to a wonderful workshop with Andrea Graham at Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.
Was it love at first sight? Yes! I quickly discovered the versatility of felt to make 2D and 3D landscapes, vessels and items to wear.
Music or no music while you work ? If so what kind of music? I need a quiet space to concentrate on the design and logistics of making a piece. Once I am into the construction phase, I might listen to a variety of music – classical, ethnic, folk, blues, but mostly I listen to CBC radio, or a podcast or an audible book. The stories and conversation help me stay in my studio, and not be distracted by my thoughts or daily life.
Where do you find inspiration? We live beside a lake in the forest and precambrian shield country of northern Saskatchewan. It’s a wild, dramatic environment with infinitely diverse surprises. I am also curious about the human condition – ideas about life, love, loss, relationship are showing up in my work.
Do you teach? Not yet – but I plan to start with some small classes in the next year, hoping to spread the joy!
Who is your favorite artist? Some of my favourite artists are Andrea Hunter, who creates pictures in felt of her surroundings in Yorkshire, UK; Marjolien Dallinga, with her poetic approach to felt making, emphasizing colour, texture and form; Emily Carr for both her paintings and autobiographical writing; Mary Oliver, an American poet.
Do you have your early work? I have some of the first pieces I ever made – either because they turned out well, or because they didn’t.
What would you say to fibre artists just starting out? It helps to really love what you are doing to put in all the time it takes to create in fibre. Explore the variety of techniques and tools, but pick a path. Search out teachers who will help you learn what you need to learn. Find or create an art community – creating is solitary work, but it is refreshing to share experiences other artists.
Are you a perfectionist? Yes, when it makes a difference, I prefer to work to the best of my ability. Perfectionism is a relative term…
What is your philosophy about creating? Human beings by nature are creative, although not everyone is driven to create. For me, creating is a necessary part of a satisfying life – whether it’s to fill a practical need, a way to work out and communicate ideas and feelings, to rise to the challenge of bringing something new into the world, or, as Martha Cole would say, to ‘Just respond’.
Have you ever gone through a dry spell or felt blocked? What did you do to get restarted? To get restarted after a break, I go into my studio, shut the door, make a list and put deadlines on my calendar. Deadlines are my best motivator, along with regularly showing up to work.
What is the best workshop you’ve ever taken? I have taken many workshops – the best are those taken with friends.
If you weren’t a fibre artist you’d be…? I would do something else with my hands – maybe a chef, a photographer, or a writer…
Describe the space you create in… I have a dedicated room upstairs in our home, with all the essentials and more. [Is it possible to be a minimalist and a fibre artist?] There is a sink and cupboard; a drafting table for creating smaller pieces; a large desk; an old library card unit, shelves and bins for wool, fibres, books and other supplies. It is a peaceful, cozy space, with a high peaked ceiling and two north facing windows overlooking the road and forest beyond. The large peninsula in my kitchen works well for making larger pieces.
Do you have an upcoming exhibition? I am working on entries for some group exhibitions for 2017.
What are you working on now? I have been experimenting with 3D forms – hollow vessels, solid forms and some jewellery.
Your favourite fibre? A custom blended mixture of wool and silk
Your favourite tool? My drum carder – I love blending a variety of fibres and colours to create new materials to felt.
First Felt…How will you begin your creative practice in 2017?
“On the first day of the year I try to include some small aspect of all the activities and attitudes that I want to bring into the new year. It’s also a wonderful way to approach the first creative project for the year. It can just be a small project, but can be an embodiment or opening of our creative aspirations for the year.” Fiona Duthie
Fiona started her year with a project that encompasses many of her interests in fibre arts- hidden messages, exploring fibre arts techniques and inspiring others in their work. She writes about making a text filled felt tape for knitting or weaving, her first felt project of the year, here:
“My inspiration for this scarf was a beautiful creation of Fiona Duthie, from her blog a few years ago. This is my impression of that piece. It represents growth to me. Sometimes within inner world you sense a change. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I have a feeling of moving forward, lighter, simpler….” Sheryl MacLeod-Sidwell
How will you get off yo your best creative start this year? What will you make? What new technique will you try? Drop us a line and a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your thoughts on your First Felt on our Facebook page.
FilzFun is a German fibre magazine focused on the craft of felting. Each magazine comes with an English supplement. This beautiful magazine features news from all over the felting world and details events such as international conferences, workshops, and exhibitions.
The Reader’s Gallery features felted work by their subscribers which are both creative and fun. The gallery presents a wonderful opportunity to see what other felt artists are making. Of particular interest is a special section entitled Felter’s Journey, which highlights specific aspects of the felting life. Alongside these features are informative tutorials, project based articles and reviews. It takes weeks to finish an issue. It’s always a great read.
This is the kind of magazine that felt makers will want to keep as a reference tool. The photographs are bold and brilliant. One can spend hours just admiring the colours and the layout.
The current issue Winter 2016/2017#53, features articles about: a felt club at a secondary school, a exhibition at the felt network and a hat workshop in Hungary. To learn more about this fabulous read visit: https://www.filzfun.de/en