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As a studio assistant for Janet Taylor’s 2002 Textile concentration at Penland School of Crafts in Western North Carolina, I first began exploring the intentional shrinkage of wool in woven textiles as a means of sculpting form from otherwise two-dimensional surfaces and wet felting unspun wool fiber into tactile hollow form. Ideas, both developed from the associations of material qualities and processes as well as, having pre-existed from within my lived experience, found an apt metaphorical framework for expression in the medium. Wool’s originating purpose as protective hair, the densification of the felting process and wool felt’s skin-like surface quality informed my guarded anthropomorphic subjects. During the following years as an artist-in-residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft in rural Tennessee, I began incorporating other naturally occurring animal and plant armour or alluding to such in my sculptural construction.
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