The process of making felt is very rhythmic and meditative. Every day I walk down the hill to feed the sheep. Once a year I have the sheep sheared, afterwards I go through several rounds of cleaning the fleece. To prepare the fibers, I run small amounts of fleece through a carder, allowing the drum of my carder to spin round and round. After that I begin the very rhythmic act of meticulously laying out thin layer after thin layer to start the felting process, then rolling the felt again and again to create the design. I like the rhythms of sewing to create the mark making. All require an awareness, the ability to slow down, to feel these rhythms, to see them, to move with them, and reflect upon them.
The reflection of these rhythms shows up in my artwork. I use mark making with thread and stitch to create this recurrent theme. I use color and form to enhance this. Sometimes I use the natural curl of the sheep’s fleece to create texture. Other times, I use the wool to produce a soft, smooth inviting surface. I always use a visual rhythm, from my repeating stitches to my repeating design forms to invite the viewer in. Knowing that these repeating lines and design elements allow a sense of calmness, a sense of comfort, a sense of oneness with something that is bigger than the viewer.
I come from a family steeped in fiber arts. My grandmother was a pattern cutter at Nelly Don (a local dress designer) and my mother was an innovative sculptural fiber artist. My education with all things fiber started very early in life as I was encouraged to “play” with cloth as a toddler, learning how to create sculpture with a crochet hook as a teenager to my more formal training in college. I have a BFA from NWMSU where I majored in sculpture and textiles. My work is held in private collections from New York to San Francisco. I credit world travel and a strong meditation practice with allowing me to let ideas flow through my mind and into my hands.