I have just completed uploading the most recent photography of the work I had created this past winter. This neck piece is one of my favorites from the new series. It incorporates a stainless steel wire form skinned with very thin felt and threaded onto an undulating cord. The cord has been free-motion machine embroidered to compress the remaining air from the felt creating an embossed surface and a stiffer felt. I have found that by allowing my stitching to be guided by the random incorporation of novelty thread on the felt’s surface, a visual and energetic balance is created with the controlled parallel lines of stitched thread. Please have a look at the new images in the Bracelet and Necklace galleries.
After 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.
This 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.
I 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.
My most recent figurative piece and many image details have now been posted in the FIGURE gallery at www.strongfelt.com. 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!
It’s LIVE!!! With this first blog from my newly launched website at www.strongfelt.com I not only invite you to spend some time wandering through the new site but I would like to pay homage to my old site pictured.
I developed the concept for that site while I was a resident artist at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN with the intention of sharing the images of my work and my growing passion for the felt medium. I was far from tech savvy and it was a leap of faith to put myself out in the world in such a way. The site developed over the years to promote a plethora of workshops I had designed to address various techniques I implemented in my work, tools I designed and Moroccan olive oil soap that I imported. I have deep gratitude for the connections made through that site over the past decade: sales, opportunities for publication and exhibition and sharing my approaches in workshops and teaching residencies. Thank you! Then the inevitable happened…
CHANGE!! The site’s operating system had become dated and it was a challenge to find those knowledgeable or willing to modify the site. It began to not function properly on some browsers as well as the images in my gallery not being viewable on mobile devices. Soooooooooo, I finally stepped it up and designed a site with new aesthetics, a gallery with larger images and ease of navigation, with images to illustrate my workshop descriptions and a page dedicated to the STRONGFELT STUDIO where I now create my work and teach workshops from in Asheville, NC. AND in the future I will be able to set up a shopping cart on the site. Thank you to The Pixel Princess for her assistance in this process! Here’s to another decade of making and sharing….