Jean D.

Last week I spent 4 days with a group of talented women I know well at our annual felt making 'retreat' This event has a liberating feel. After some settling in time we get down to work. There is lots of supportive talk and laughter, silences, shared cooking and hearty meals.

Alignment

When we meet we are role models for one another. We take time to do the tedious stuff to come up with the best we can in the end. This is great practice for working alone when we get home. We come away satisfied and refreshed.

One night at home and I am away again helping my daughter with her 6 month old baby, still holding on to last week's inspiration.

This lesson has made me sit up and think. I was telling a friend about it. She immediately gave me a great list of skills which I wouldn't have thought worth mentioning

So I started the list which I will add to with time.

Inventory.
Aligned

  • Knowledge of the differences between different wools and how they work in felt making. But vague, not expert
  • Wide range of felting techniques, traditional and contemporary.This gives a good foundation.
  • Use of texture
  • How other fibres can be felted into wool.
  • Simple printing on fabric Basic level. Still a lot to learn if I wish to pursue this.
  • Dyeing wool
  • Wool carding I have the skill but I seldom use it for achieving the tonal effects that I should be putting into my work.
  • Appreciation of colour and tone
  • Colour contrast/ simple form
  • Art appreciation
  • Practical DIY
  • Sewing
  • Interest in and enjoyment of colour and balance, eg placement of objects for good effect. Writing. But I don't use this skill for note taking, recording of work.

Out of Alignment  

 

 

  • Notebook keeping for recording of work
  • Sketch book/ drawing practice for planning work
  • I think this is the most important improvement I should take on. Thorough preparation - I can be slapdash....what I need to do- Keeping records; weighing out wool; noting measurements. Printing techniques
  • (Computer imaging techniques - an ambitious aim )
  • Overcoming avoidance tendencies
  • Better communication with those closest to me Better use of time

What is perfection?

This is a journey.....work in progress. There are things I know are successful and which I wouldn't improve but I would never regard any piece of work as perfect. Maybe just the best I can do.

Is there such a thing for an artist? Levels of satisfaction change over time. My view of what I have made can change, sometimes from critical to positive after an interval of time for standing back and assessing. Sometimes it is the other way round. But there is a common denominator. Success for me really does lie in forethought and preparation. Also in time made for work and frequency of practice, themes which have already been covered.

Aims and analysis of my own style.

  • Bigger pieces
  • Wall pieces and hangings
  • Angular, geometric, floating
  • To create something beautiful which will inspire a space.

One of my inspirations Anish Kapoor

My work is strong, often minimal, sparsely decorated. I wouldn't ever call it pretty but I want it to be striking.