December 20, 2012

Someone found this post and contacted me about purchasing the vessel for his wife.  Even though the pics have been published previously here is a narrative about the creation of the vessel.

This piece was originally inspired and constructed for an invitational show in Paris, France called “Stations”. The show was held in a gallery made of ancient stone and it was on exhibition during the Passover Easter Season.  Fourteen USA artists from a wide array of disciplines each were given a station to create a work of art. The show was fascinating and vivacious in its interpretative views and reading between the lines of the titles.

I was invited to do an interpretation of Station #10 called: Stripped, where Jesus was beaten, thronged and stripped of His garments.   I had plans for the piece to be more graphic with the skin torn and ripped to bits for our wrong choices, misdoings and our wicked ways. But once the vessel dried I heard a calling of the maroon ( dried blood) dribbling  down the vessel as it made an interesting contrast against the butter cream innocent skin made of Icelandic lambs wool.  Though, I usually have no issue with destroying a piece to express my messages, this one beckoned me to leave it alone, a task that has taken  me 30 years to learn.  As artist, it is a fine line between pushing one’s idea and allowing it to stand.

I like to paint a composition then cut it up and weave it back together or dribble other paint over the composition.   In the 1990’s I designed wall blankets, I would create a composition on fabric, the size of a quilt then sew several together, using a machine free form design.  Slash the top layers to reveal the composition underneath, representing people and how we expose parts of our personality and sometimes different from public persona. There is a well known textile artist named, Tim Harding, who inspired me in the late 1980’s with the unraveling of cloth, which gave the cloth a soft pliable function and I employed this technique vivaciously in the late 80’s early 90’s.

In 2007, I answered an ad on Craig’s list to swap artist materials. I forget what I offered but I inherited a large array of wool roving.  I made felt in college using raw wool,  learning to  clean, card, spin and dyeing it but I was not terribly drawn or inspired by this scientific approach to self expression.  Creating the “canvas” so to speak was highly unappealing to me weather it was fabric, paper, reeds metal or wood until I grew increasing bored in winter of 2007 and wanted a new avenue.

I like unusual things and to me vessels made of lambs hair or wool is a lovely revelation because we normally use wool to clothe or keep us warm hence the  astonishment of making a work of art with no intended function  seems like a surprise.






  Previously posted pics


She has returned.

February 24, 2012

Oh, how I would like to make the statement that I am BACK, yes back as in felting but it is increasingly more difficult to make plans. Yesterday, I knew I needed to felt and since the rotator cuff is still squawking at much activity I just let it have sample of this beloved activity.  It seemed that little gift soaps covered with merino wool and accented with hand-dyed wool was just the activity.  I dyed the bright turquoise in the fall of 2011. Wow has it really been that long since I did serious felting.  I have a proposal in for a workshop at a library ( 50 miles away) Since the facilities are limited covered rocks about the size of these hand crafted soaps are the focus of the workshop.  I love having these around as they make a special unexpected gift or consumable thank you gift besides food plus the soap has a much longer shelf life.  I experimented  a bit with each bar, trying to discover the easiest and more effective way of not only demonstrating the technique but allow success for each student.

It seems placing the soap on a piece of bubble wrap then layer with wisps of wool and topped by the outer  compositional layer was the best and most successful.

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Felted Postcards

February 9, 2012

I adore postcards,  and have collected them for over 40 years, even though the internet can take us to exotic lands, postcards are a signal that some one thinks of you even while they are gone.  Over the years, I  have been in several multimedia post card exhibits and it is great fun.   I would like to see  a twist on the travel postcard event by  creating felting post-cards about HOME.

This challenge is called “Postcards from Home” and features small (4 inch by 6 inch) pictorials of scenes from you home environment: landscapes, perhaps a historical  point of interest.  Some suggestions to get you thinking about a pictorial postcard:  the natural environment, such as mountains, deserts or coastal scenery; native flora and fauna; images of agriculture such as farms, ranches and dairies; man-made scenes, such as towns and cities, bridges, monuments, museums, and theme parks; historical images from home past; and recreational settings.

Deadline:  August 15, 2012
Open to all
Size:  4 inches by 6 inches (traditional postcard size
Writing may be included
Make a label for the back of your postcard containing the following information:

Postcard from Home Challenge 2012
Your Name and Address
Title of Postcard
Location of scene

On a separate piece of paper, please include a short paragraph explaining the scene you felted and any additional information that you wish to share.  This information may be used in promotional materials and articles concerning this challenge.

Bring the finished postcards, or mail* the finished postcard to me.  I will document and photograph each postcard. I would like to take a display of these postcards to various exhibits. We have a Final Friday exhibit here in my hometown of Lawrence, KS. There is First Friday in Kansas City, MO. There is a large possibility of several national venues for a traveling exhibit but locations are undisclosed at this time.


Leave a response if you might be interested.  The pieces will be auctioned off for a charity fund raiser TBA later. So this is a mere feeler for a response.  I may extend it to fiberart postcards, since  my circle of acquaintances extend way into the fiber world: weaving, surface design, beading,  hand made papers,  fabric design, dying, indigo, baskets etc. i have yet to decide.  What a great way to get your work SEEN by a groups of people.

New project

February 4, 2012

I have been working on this for 2 months but my day job has so rudely interrupted my process.  It involves, merino wool with silk wrapped in a spiral around the cylinder of wool  that was created with a resist and loose locks left unfelted. Then,  direct application  of acid dye  was applied after  a 4 inch PVC pipe was inserted into the felted cylinder and scrunched  using a Japanese method.   I found it interesting that the silk dyed a different shade of blue even though both the wool and silk were white.

This is a detailed of the piece that is 9 inch circumference with a height of currently 17 inches but with the copper tubing  it will extend it to 24 inches. The copper tubing and  the base is still in design stages but as soon as the piece is completed decent pics of piece will be posted.  I am very excited about this piece but currently I am still mending from a rotator cuff injury, which is adversely affecting my ability to felt.


December 15, 2011

Lately my day job has eaten up my time and I am too exhausted to get to the studio after work. It seems my excitement with wool is waiting for the cold winter months to set in. I was looking forward to making a beret to hide my unsightly hair while if grows from the spiked dew I wore for the summer months.  It was just too unmanageable so instead of felting a beautiful head covering, I got a fabulous haircut, by Jody Seitz, which is excessively adorable to hide under a hat.  NOW, my motivation to felt a wearable item is in gone.  For nearly two decades ago, I did silk scarves and the proverbial unusual socks for Christmas gifts, but I took a long pause from that work.  I had a nice inventory left but it has finally dwindled, thus people are clamoring for my wears.  Friends and relatives got felted items last year and they met with gratefulness but the regret was seen in their eyes “Where are my silk scarves and socks”?  HA HA.

I am at least trying to get momentum even if it is with posting older work.  The chalice (2009) looking vessel was my first attempt to work with locks.










I attended a fiber group who had just returned from a fiber workshop with Elis Vermeulen demonstrating exactly what I attempted on my own.  As you can see in my vessel the success of a demonstration even though, I did not add near enough locks.  I was extremely apprehensive about them felting on top of one another so I placed only a minimal number of locks even though they were side by side in the lay out stage.


Today, I am free of my tech work and so I would like to devote myself to the studio. It is only 5 AM here so let us see how the day unfolds. Perhaps today is the day a new vigor will ensue.

Rework/Finishing Projects

March 23, 2011

I began the spiral Painting in November and just finished it today.

The Resist Alpaca vessel (before pic) began as jester’s hat for my nephew. Highly dissatisfied with the results it was tossed into the reject pile. Last week, with the coming of warm weather and the rejuvenation of spring air, I picked up the experiment gone array and began to reform it a vessel, which is the nice feature about Felt is it never truly locked into a shape.  It is much like a canvas that can be whitewashed and begin afresh. I am unsure of the vessel’s destiny but perhaps for some hand stamped acid dye and some decorative stitching.

Today, I also found in the discarded pile a brightly colored blue bag. I have added some decorative stitching and fulled it with my patio sized (88″ x 108″) bamboo screen.  Yes, I stitched it first then completed the fulling, I was unsure what would happen to the cotton thread, but it seems to not mind going through the fulling session.  I enjoyed this free form stitching because it lends more visual interest to surface. Sorry I could not photograph the detail but I am limited to my aging camera.

The black mohair ball that I felted last week got the same stitching with indigo thread as the blue bag; I re-fulled it, which shrank it to a mere 43 inches in circumference. It is the softest vessel that I have made today, it has a yummy soft, rich hand. The stitching on this vessel once dried might be nice with some shiny German Rayon embroidery thread.

Yikes, we have a tornado warning here in the Midwest of USA.  80F this morning and it is now a mere 60F so the storm is moving even though no funnel has been sited on the ground-just yet.

Camera Phone

March 15, 2011

I have an hour to kill before I must leave for a Circuit Swap at a retail store, so might as well be productive.  I left this vessel drying last night on my kitchen table and so here it sits.  I like the way the inner layers of white and black mohair migrate to the surface. I could not capture that bit of detail as I took the pic with  my blackberry. You will be able to see it once I shoot in in the photographic studio with better lighting and no distracting background information. The glass table is rather reflective.  The inner most layer  is white merino  with gray alpaca, white mohair, more merino, black mohair and final layer of thin Shetland wool fleece. I have plans for  embellishments  but as most things in life are subject to change. I really want to create a vessel that I can slice open and sew back with copper wire surgical stitches,  but I am not confident this is the vessel for that treatment.  I have been intrigued with the idea of scars for about 2 decades and like to use it as a metaphor in my work.

Satisified Vessel

February 27, 2011

As I was taking pics of this dried and completed vessel, I contemplated my process or approach.  It occurred to me that  I like to perfect a technique knowing that I can control the medium then intentionally distorted and bend the process which gives an organic looking item.  I do not always follow through  because I get distracted  nonetheless I feel I can now begin the  distortion to create a visual  texture of poetry. This piece I fulled when it was inflated with a beach ball.  I found a great amount of satisfaction in this process.

I had my mind set to move back to painting with wool and even began a wool canvas (see below)  I had intentions of adding images using German embroidery thread. I am, now, unsure of my next direction.

Canvas ready for Machine stitching

Last Scheduled Vessel

February 26, 2011

Working on technique once again.

Another wintry storm after 7 days of 65F spring weather.  It is gray, icy, snowy and we are warned to stay in door because of the dangerous ice;  great day to felt.  I am trying of vessels and  am ready to move forward with more felt paintings; so, this will most likely be my last vessel.  I might add some stamped dye images,  I am unsure at the moment.

Flying Geese Vessel

February 23, 2011

This piece is available for sale at the Women Made Gallery  It is made of Mohair, Alpaca and Icelandic Lamb Fleece approximately 33 inches in circumference.  The abstract aubergine flying geese has been stamped on using a thickened dye. Once it was dry it was steamed in a commercial Chinese Steamer (similar to home bamboo stove-top steamers) with  three inches of white distilled vinegar  in the bottom portion covered and boiling over a hot plate.  To keep the condensation from dripping back onto the vessel, clean unprinted newsprint paper was put under the lid while it steamed twenty minutes.

Felt Sphere

February 15, 2011

Directly applied Dye

This Drying felt sphere is 34.5 inches. The dye had been directly applied with a sponge and the grape color was mixed with a thickener and stamped on while a beach ball (inserted inside) held it taunt. I am unsure of the final object whether to leave as is, add glass beads, or cut the surface.

Felt Exhibit

October 6, 2010

This is rather poor documentation of an art exhibit I had in August  in the KC Arts district called Crossroads but it was so hectic, I failed to arrange to have it photographed.  These are the first public display of a group of wool vessels created during the 09/10  winter. I spent my time developing vessels using unprocessed, (uncleaned fleece with Vegetable matter and animal waste). have posted this previously, and I drill  down the process in previous post. The white and teal piece was constructed  with 100% unprocessed Icelandic lambs wool. The yellow/red piece is alpaca and Icelandic lamb’s wooI that I processed and dyed.  the yellow, Indigo piece is made of poodle hair.  The white piece is a scrumptious Icelandic lamb (first hair cut) with embellishments from Irish feathers sent to me by a pen pal in Ireland.   


May 25, 2010

A taste of samples from my studio, these are very raw colors but the intent was not tonalities or combo of such, but technique.  I am satisfied with the knowledge acquired from these experiments, which provide a studier foundation even though I have just begun the climb.  I have a few more pieces with resist dyeing that I need to photograph but I am too excited as I want to move forward. I am currently working on a proposal for a contrast/ tension gallery showing, thus with my newly acquired knowledge, I will be able to finally add depth and a quality missing from my previous work. I suppose dyeing is after all more closely related to painting, which I enjoy the most, so painting on felted vessels is ecstasy and an adventure.  My skill as a fine crafter is sorely missing however, in all justification I am mainly passionate about light, tones, shades and hues.  I have two more vessels that are drying where utilized transference in the technique from silk to wool.

Resist Dyed

Dyeing Update

May 23, 2010

I have been on an experimental journey since last week and am having great fun in the midst of increased leaky roof in my house, enormous gloomy skies for late May, and seven graduation celebrations.  I have been in the dye portion of my studio painting with dye, researching with the microwave, the stovetop and even dribbling hot dye onto the felt with a spoon. On Wednesday, I could stand it no longer, so dug through the cabinets to find my old implements for resist dying. Though the colors are very raw, I am gaining valuable experience in dying the wool, even though it is terribly thick and it is a bit of work to get the gadgets on the felt, I am pleased with the results. I have yet to do tremendous over dyeing, as I am unsure of the saturation point of the wool. I suppose that is something I will have to uncover.  However, all is progressing nicely and moving the process into the next phase of stitching the felt before dyeing. I have to admit though; I can barely wait until I finish the series on acid dyes as I have the ingredients to begin a vat of indigo oxygenation dyeing.  I need to buy the lye, as I do not like to keep it sitting in the cabinet. The chemicals have been stored in my studio and I am holding my breath in hopes the chemicals are still usable. I have much experience with silk and all cellulose fibers and indigo but none with wool, thus it should prove rewarding.

Kids Play Hat

February 18, 2010

I really need to not describe an item until I have photos ready as I have nothing to say about this FUN hat for my nephew.  I am developing a collection of unusual toys so the kids will enjoy playing at Auntie Deb boah’s house.  This hat is 14 x 14 inches and the nest one I intend to be inspired by Dr. Seuz’s illustrators of “Old Hat New Hat”.

Red Wool Reassigned

February 16, 2010

In late Fall 09 I took a first attempt to make a beret. I had seen a demo on YouTube using a pizza insert of corrugated cardboard for the resist.  As always, it looks simple on the Internet while the subtle hints are lost in pixels and in this case, the cardboard was not saturated and smuchy. OK OK let me be perfectly honest, I covered the pizza insert with two circles of bubble wrap neatly taped so it would felt faster and stay anchored.

Bowl with Foot

My improvement was not a completely formulated but to my credit, it did full quickly.  I cut a dainty opening to pull out the bubble wrapped cardboard but it was not soggy as in the video. I had created a water resist around the cardboard thus it remained stiff; I had to gently struggle for a considerable amount of time before I got the silly resist removed. In the video the cardboard was nearly dissolved thus it slipped out with little effort. If you are one who makes felt, by now, you comprehend what happened; the opening was stretched and  uselessly enlarged as a hat for a person but ideal for an elephant head.   I disappointingly pushed the hat aside and moved on to another project.

This past Sunday, I was attempting to finish other incomplete projects and the red hat fell out from a pile of silk remnants. My other projects were drying as I had hand painted some lining for clutches so I gave the red hat a new life.  I rewetted the renegade hat and while it was soaking, the idea of a bowl with a large mouth rose.  I fashioned a nice foot then, bound it tightly with a flat cotton yarn for it to dry and I stuffed the remaining wool shape with plastic shopping bags until I had a desirable shape. I am still using a point and shoot camera so please forgive the lack of photographic clarity.

Life Stages of Lavender

November 19, 2009

Hands down, working with clay to create vessels is MUCH easier but perhaps I have yet to find the enabling tools.

I wanted to take a new swing at a beret hat but I cut the resist too small,  since I can turn on a dime, I decided today was the marked time to attempt a rounded vessel. I had just spent the morning dying poodle hair  for some new vessels This may explain my mistake, as I was already fatigued from the dyeing. HA HA.  The inside of this rounded vessel  is a violet purple with layers of white merino and white alpaca on the exterior laced with slight wisps of grey alpaca.  The line drizzling the exterior is a 3-ply Shetland, which I untwisted and randomly placed.  Once I completed the fulling, I was pleased that some of the violet wool had migrated to the surface, which gives the visual texture one of blended fibers. I titled this the life cycle of Lavender because I grown Lavender, and I love the cycle; it begins with a deep bluish grey stem, which looks very dead, then it pushes forth tender green sprigs. In early summer it burst forth with great fragrance and one knows the lavender is in its prime and time for harvesting. The heat of the summer here in Kansas, turns the plants the sage green and the amber brown. I prune the plants back hoping for a mild fall and another crop but have yet to reap such.

RED Vessel

November 8, 2009

I love this vessel as I was able to get the fiber tight, firm yet thin.  I achieved  crisp edges between the sides and the bottom. Red Vessel

I apologize  for the quality of these pics.  I spent  considerable time in the photography studio taking numerous pics of all my recent activity and as I was  uploading I discovered a smudge on the lens of the camera.  Yes, a  reshoot is in order but not tonight just wanted to upload a few as promised.

Tequila Sunrise

July 30, 2009

Inspired by the cocktail not that I was drinking one at the time but I was thinking of a sunset in the Painted Desert how the colors are so breathtaking and rarely are replicated outside of nature.  The thought drifted to the Floridian white beach sunrises with cool morning air, salty wind, and cool sand beneath ones feet with Jimmy Buffet playing on the CD, which always points to margaritas even in the dawn hours.  Now, I know a tequila sunrise is not a margarita unless one is at Cheeseburger Paradise, restaurant chain owned by Jimmy Buffet, where every concoction of margaritas exists.  Last night I had one called, “Sunken Treasure” It was a shaken margarita verses the blended until tiny ice crystals form or near frozen is mixed with blue Agave Tequila and it had some eatable claim at the bottom housing a faux pearl (again a consumable object).  I digress but the inspiration of my newest felted vessel: Tequila Sunrise.

Constructed using double sided bubble wrap as a resist and once felted and fulled, it was cut opened and shaped.  I made a huge assumption that as in hand made paper making the longer the fibers the more strength the final object will behold.  That assumption leads me to add long thin wisps of angora in the inner structure.  Mind you I have no proof these Angora goat hairs are long other than when pulled from the roving they separate approximately four inch strands, where the Merino comes out in about three and the New Zealand is one inch long.  I use the same technique for each “pull”.  I must openly admit that I have not investigated my assumption so it could be all wet and woolly nonsense. As to the colors, the interior very much duplicated the layers of the drink until it was rinsed in boiling water.  I hand dyed the wool and I must have not rinsed long enough because the grenadine red color bled migrated and contaminated the lighter colors similar to tossing a red sock in the washer with white clothes.

This little tequila vessel is 4.75 inches in diameter with a 4 inch height.