The New Year begins on 01/01, it is the milestone most of us use to chronicle our lives. This January I found myself still finishing up the last orders of 2018. I spent the first week of the new year shipping orders and finally delivering the large artwork shown above to a client in NJ. Another milestone people use to mark the passage of time is their birthday. For me that date also falls in January, on 01/11. It marked the date I could concentrate on making exciting new work for the upcoming season.
Artists on the show circuit have yet another way of looking at time. The artist’s show season dictates the way we talk about and plan our lives. This year my season kicks off in February with my first appearance at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore, MD. I’ll be exhibiting there from Feb. 21st through the 25th. The first two days are wholesale and then three retail days. Coincidentally, my booth number is 1101.
Felted wool drying
This is the beginning of cat coasters, pillows and trivets that I need for the remaining five weekends of shows. It is tricky to engineer a four foot wide, seven foot long sheet of felt to have stripes and spots in the right places. Laying out the fiber for this piece involves eight colours of wool and three yardsticks! The next step is cutting this blanket into cat faces and adding silly eyes, noses and whiskers. Cotton batting and a felt backing will complete the coasters. I will have a batch ready for the North Penn Holiday Craft Market on November 19th at 1340 S. Valley Forge Road in Lansdale PA.
Here are some of the finished items I made from the new large floral patterned felt. In addition to these 18″ pillows I made a smaller pillow and a couple of tea cozies. Most of the pillows are backed in green felt that coordinates with the grass and stems. One all blue flower pillow is backed in blue and a yellow/orange flower combination is backed in a soft gold. These will all be offered for sale this coming Saturday March 12th at the North Penn Select craft show in Lansdale PA.
On Feb 14th while at a show I received a phone call. A fellow artisan had been in my booth at the previous show in Virginia and was quite taken with my hand felted wool art tiles. She was particularly enamored of my new water lily piece. I was pleased with her reaction but didn’t think any more about it, however she did. Evidently she told her mother about the piece and coincidently, her birthday is this week. So Mom made the call and the 12″x12″ wood framed art tile has shipped to NY for a birthday gift!
The coal stove kicks out some dry heat so even this thick piece of felt was ready very quickly. I hand stitched a backing on the piece and mounted it in a wood frame. I’ve chosen not to use glass on my felted wall art so the tactile textural quality has a room softening effect. This is helpful when the collector places it in a bank, an office or other “sterile” environment.
Every aspect of this piece relates to my environment in some way. Anyone who drives past my little farm in the summer knows about my towering sunflowers. The old picket fence offers a rustic backdrop for a constantly changing display of lilies, hollyhocks, zinnias and more as the season progresses. Many of the wool colors are derived from flowers growing in my gardens or fields. The finished framed size is 36″x 24″ and is available for $1429.
This weekend I am heading to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA to do my first show in 2016. The festival is Jan 29th-31, Friday and Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5. My booth is #312 so if you are in the area come check it out along with 250 other crafters and artists.
The reception last evening for “Bazaar,” the new exhibit at Artspace gallery in Bloomsburg, PA was a wonderful success. The response to both the work and the display was very positive and gratifying. It was also a very fun event. Sales have already been good and the exhibit continues through October 4. Please visit the gallery and of course you can contact me about my work by leaving a comment to this post. More about Artspace gallery may be found at http://www.Artspacebloomsburg.com
Linda standing in front of some of her work and that of the two other exhibiting artists.
The early spring snow storm on Friday made the trip to Lansdale PA take a bit longer than it should have, but after that it was smooth sailing. The volunteers and students were there to lend a helping hand with any task.
The Select Craft Show is sponsored by the North Penn International Friendship Committee to benefit North Penn High School exchange student programs. Kudos to Bonnie and Ted Knauss for managing this showcase event for a terrific cause. Saturday March 21st marked my first time participating in this invitation only craft show. The fall event will be held on November 21st.
This past weekend at the Artrider Show held in the armory in Morristown, NJ, a collector of mine purchased one of my more dramatic pieces – Fairy House Mushroom. This felted sculpture is approximately 15 inches tall and consists of a base representing the largest 3-dimensional wet-felted vessel I have ever made. The wool fiber I used was all naturally hand-dyed using Brazilwood. I carved the door and windows then followed with needle-felted decorations. Inside the house is a needle-felted, multi-colored swirl rug. The cap has swirls on the outside with the underside of the cap being needle-felted, multi-colored stripes.
The collector, who told me she had the perfect location in her home for it, was pleased that it wasn’t so large that she would have to worry about her cat getting into it. Having previously purchased one of my felted cat sculptures, she knew the quality and style that I bring to my work. I am already planning my next mushroom sculpture, but as these are very work intensive pieces, each one is unique and made one at a time.
The Artrider show was a successful event and a good start to my show year! Next Saturday (March 21) you may find me at the North Penn Select Craft Show (Lansdale, PA), my first time being invited to the prestigious and well attended event. See my website http://www.shades-of-nature.com for a full show schedule and links to the event.
Fairy House Mushroom