Friday, February 18, 2011

I JUST FELT LIKE IT: Felting exhibit

While beadwork is my primary love, I also work in other fiber media including embroidery, both hand and machine, as well as knitting and felting.

The Felting Study Group #1 members of the Potomac Fiberarts Guild will have their own show at the
Allegheny’s Arts Council’s Saville Gallery in Cumberland Maryland.
The Opening Reception of the show, I JUST FELT LIKE IT, is at 6PM on
Saturday, 12 March. The show runs from 10 March until 2 April 2011.

Saville Gallery is located at 9 North Centre Street, Cumberland, MD 21502; 301-777-ARTS;
Gallert hours: Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM; Sat 11AM-4PM

Members of the Study Group participating in the exhibit include:
Joanne Bast, Bev Thoms, Roz Houseknecht, Zita Simutis, Dalis Davidson, Sharon Janda, Kathy Korin, Grace Mahanes, Paige Garber, Renate Maile-Moskowitz, Francine Stefancic, Terri Fisher, and Jeanne Bohlen

While each of us will have individual works of art on display, including felted wall pieces, clothing, sculptures, scarves, hats, purses and jewelry, we are also creating a large installation piece specifically for this exhibition. It will consists of 4 floor to ceiling panels following the branches of a dogwood tree through the four seasons. Yesterday we met and laid out the final piece in the series: Spring. I thought that I would digress from beadwork and follow the creation of this major piece.

First, 6 tables are arranged and raised to working height on bed risers. The tables are covered by plastic and then bubble wrap. Jeanne Bohlen, Sharon Janda, Zita Simutis and Bev Thoms stretch out the plastic.

A piece of tulle predyed with ground, grass, and sky areas is places on the plastic. The tulle is 19-20 feet long and about 3-4 feet wide.


Hand dyed wool roving to be used in the panel. Wool is a fiber with scales that can be made to open up and attach to each other producing a fiber mat called felt. Thin layers of wool may also be made to penetrate and attach to fine openweave fabrics such as the background tulle used here. This is referred to as nuno felt.

The roving is pulled into fine wisps and carefully placed onto the tulle. Bev Thoms and Jeanne Bohlen lay out the grass area:

Sharon Janda and Paige Garber lay out the ground and rocks:

Roz Houseknecht, Paige Garber, Zita Simutis, Renate Maile-Moskowitz, Jeanne Bohlen, and Dalis Davidson lay out the sky:

 Bev Thoms and Zita Simutis add shadows and highlights:

White wool has been slightly felted (called prefelt) from which the dogwood petals are cut and attached together by pricking with special barbed needles. This is called needle felting.

The needle felted flowers are placed on the background.

Checking the composition:

It's not all work!

Prefelt in various colors for leaves:

Dalis Davidson cuts leaves out of prefelt:

Roz Houseknecht and Dalis Davidson add leaves and flower details:

Lunch break. I will continue in the next posting. Joanne

We thank the Barnesville, MD Town Hall for allowing us this wonderful space to work in.


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