This sunny bay in my farmhouse is one of my favorite places to needle felt. The close-up shows one of the tools I use to make my colourful cat sculptures by needle felting sheep’s wool. I became interested in working with wool fiber when I was an exchange student at the Scottish College of Textiles. The school was in the border country and there were sheep farms everywhere. My fascination with weaving and dyeing date back to my childhood, which explains why I studied textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science.
My parents were both art teachers so I had the opportunity to learn painting at a very early age. Inevitably I merged my painting and weaving skills to create woven paper paintings. I paint the image twice using light and dark tones, or warm and cool tones to make the paintings different. Then I cut both paintings into undulating strips and weave them together. After weaving I add more detail and imagery on the textured woven surface.
I had a successful career as a textile designer in NYC but I wanted to explore a more hands on approach with fiber as an art medium. I started my business “Shades of Nature” while still working and commuting. Moving from my tiny log cabin in NJ to a farmhouse in PA has given me so much more room to explore my passion for all things fiber.
I have a weaving studio dubbed “The Loom Room”, a sewing room and a painting studio. The basement houses the messier work of natural dyeing and wet felting. There is so much more space to garden here, and then there is the enormous barn. Now I have a small herd of alpacas for their lovely fiber. It all keeps me extremely busy but is also rewarding.