Archive | February, 2015

Another Fluffy White Medium

photo-10photo-8After driving back 9 hours from Baltimore on Wednesday night, I arrived to a quiet landscape in the process of being carpeted in snow . With my body craving to be moved and my mind soothed after such an expedition, I began walking the streets of Asheville and did so, unknowingly, for three hours. I captured many images that night finding visual inspiration in the way the white snow patterned the dark ground and sky and I was reminded of my most recent body of work…high contrast and defined structure created with a soft white medium.

TBT For my Grandfather

1st awardI think I am about 7 in this photograph which dates it to 1982. I believe my softball team had just won a championship of some sort and I am celebrating in the kitchen of my childhood home in the burbs of Detroit with my grandma, mom, brother, grandfather and uncle. I post this picture today as this Sunday, February 28th will be the 14th year anniversary of the passing of my grandfathe, Karl Fasel. I distinctly recall my grandfather expressing concern in his last days as to how I was going to possibly make a way for myself with having recently completed a BFA in Fiber Art, as he was a very practical man, a farmer who immigrated to the US from Germany. I wish he were here to witness that indeed I have made my way and without a doubt as a result of the work ethic he instilled.

James Renwick Alliance Award 2015

JRA AwardThis past friday, February 20th, I was incredibly honored to receive the James Renwick Alliance Award of Excellence for Innovation in Craft along with Stacey Lee Webber, pictured to my right at the American Craft Council’s Baltimore Show. It is the first year that JRA has presented this award with the awards juried by JRA board members, Judy Wiesman, Marc Grainer and Sean Hennessey. The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum showcases 20th Century American Craft and the Alliance’s mission is to celebrate and foster scholarship, education and public appreciation of achievements of American Craft Artists. Of course, it is so very gratifying to have my work acknowledged, but I am also so pleased for my work to be a conduit for broader awareness of the felt medium. Many thanks for the capturing and sharing of this picture on the JRA Facebook page with American Craft Council Executive Director, Chris Amundsen and JRA board member, Rebecca Ravenal.

Monday still in Motion! Earrings!

photo-313 minutes left on this Monday night before I pack it all up tomorrow. One can’t have too many earrings, right? …especially highly textured felt earrings on sterling silver hoops that are light as a feather. I couldn’t resist a last push in the studio this past weekend to make coordinating hoops to go along with the bracelets and neckpieces.


It looks like it is going to be a snowy ACC Baltimore 2015…a fine time to head into the Convention Center to take in some fine craft. Next post Baltimore!

New Solid Form Felting

newI am excited about these new solid felt form elements in some of my felt pearl cords. They offer little windows that bring whatever color you may be wearing into the composition and the interior shapes play nicely with the undulating oval shapes throughout the cords.

Registration opens today around 2pm for classes at this years Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!  I will be offering a two day class in Solid Form Felting Techniques there or sign up for a three day course at the STRONGFELT STUDIO June 19-21 with an expanded offering including the incorporation of partial felt to achieve more defined shapes and the lovely color bleed effects you can see here as the yellow core fibers travel to the surface of the black felt skin on top.

Loving the Pricing…

photoSitting down with a pile of work and my sketchbook right before a show is rather exciting! It is a time to let the shoulders drop, to know you have created what can be at this point and a chance to take in the new body of work all at once.

Many people ask if I draw out my ideas before I start…actually, I draw them as I develop the work so that I have a little sketch in my book that I can come back to and notate my hours as I work on a piece. The amount of wool, the prep time before felting, the felting/fulling time, what I may dye the piece with and the free-motion stitching are all notated which makes for a consistent system of pricing. All this data goes into a spread sheet for each category of work, along with an inventory number, dimensions, and date of completion. The last columns are saved for where that piece has been shown, the date it sells and who has purchased it. Now to the unfurling of my booth display that is tucked away in the closet….

TBT Studio Spaces

2002 I had just packed up my world in Taos, New Mexico and drove across the country to Smithville, TN to begin a one year residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft that turned out to be three! AND I am still here in the south 13 years later. Life is kind of wild that way…

This was my very first studio space that wasn’t my living room/kitchen/porch. I had my bead work, my loom, my wheel, my dyes, but I had only been turned onto felt as a medium a few months prior despite the long felt ropes that I had been letting grow from my scalp for years. Life is kind of wild that way…

ACC 02

Monday’s Motion…coordinating!

imageI really love making coordinating pieces, carrying aesthetics from one form to another. I don’t require the pieces to be purchased as a set, but I’d certainly rock them together and they make for an eye catching display. My latest work is primarily in white, black and grays, rather than naturally over dyeing the pieces which has been more typical of my work. The high contrast and cooler tones seem to balance the warmth of the felt. Baltimore ACC is next week and I hope you can stop in booth 602 and take in the new work and booth set up and if not…well there will be images to share!

Bringing it All Together!!

A bit of STRONGFELT production in the studio today making elements for a number of clasping systems for a new series of neck pieces. For those of you who’ve taken my Solid Form Felting Course you know this…tiny tiny partially felted balls with dry connectors and lots and lots of those fun little hoops! lol! I will be offering this course at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival April 29-30 and at the STRONGFELT STUDIO June 19-21 for those interested.

A Journey

A JourneyMy most recent figurative piece and many image details have now been posted in the FIGURE gallery at I had shared several process images of this piece, A Journey, on Facebook during the fall of 2014, prior to its completion in November. Sharon Nugent, a long time patron of STRONGFELT had commissioned this very personal work and I would like to acknowledge her patronage here as it was this commission that funded the rebuilding of my website this winter. As has been the case for many years now, Sharon has serendipitously supported my work at very crucial times in the development of STRONGFELT, inc. A strongly felt thank you to Sharon and her family for their support!