Seems I prefer the making to the recording! I’ve been very busy with all kinds of new pieces over the Fall and Winter 2019-20 but none have made it to the website yet!
So, here’s a snippet of this years works with more to come. My menagerie continues to grow with lots of dramatic dragons inspired by GOT, seals from looking out the window at Aspotogan (Mi’kmaq for where the seals come in and go out), the ever favourite foxes utilizing colourful vintage men’s plaid scarves.
I’ve also really been enjoying using resists to create seamless pieces, like my one piece “Peas on Earth” cowl with 3D pea pods on vintage acid green silk and “SuperHero” , a reversible cowl with lightening bolt cutouts revealing the neon coloured sari silk underneath.
This season also saw a lot of felt lace, using the amazing self healing properties of wool to create delicate patterns of different shapes and holes.
so much for my New Year’s resolution of keeping up to date on posting new pieces! I have so many new things to share, will start with just a few more recent pieces. I’ve been having fun experimenting with 3-D bobbles, intentional holes!! and other surface designs. I’ve also been really enjoying using naturally dyed cheesecloth to add strength with the illusion of fragility. As the weather warms, I’m trying to get outside more often to take pictures of the work, sunlight is the best light box 🙂 Stay tuned for more pieces to come… new seal collars (beauty without cruelty!), lighter than air summer shawls and other wearable art goodies.
I’m working to bring more whimsy to this year’s show, (November 17-19 at Cunard Centre, Pier 23). There will be dragons, unicorns, seals and other magical creatures along with cobweb wraps and other whimsical felted delights. It’s been a lot of fun and I can’t wait to meet the folks who will adopt one of these lovely pieces for their own. For more info on the show visit NS Crafts Xmas Show
All of my pieces come with a story- from the origins of the vintage fabric, to the process and production of the wool, to the materials and source of embellishments and the creation of the closures (usually my sweetie). IMO however some of my latest pieces will be coming with the best story yet! I was very intrigued by a wooden box full of strange leather at the incomparable Plan B, a treasure trove of unique and unusual finds. On closer inspection, the leather, in a range of beautiful colours (beige, pink, red, purple and black) resembled snakeskin but had a more of an oval shape… like a fish?! There was also the most delightful smell emanating from the leather, a fresh and woody aroma.
I brought some of the leather to Bob, the captain of Plan B and he explained that yes it was fish leather and it was locally produced.. and then he told me all about a bit of a political boondoggle in Nova Scotia’s economic past. As you are likely aware, Nova Scotia has a rich tradition of fishing and in the 80’s, the government of the day decided to invest heavily in a by-product of this industry, creating fish leather. A factory was set up and traditional Mi’kmaw tanning practices were adapted to cure the leather using sweetgrass (hence the amazing smell!). Sadly, the world wasn’t ready for fish leather at that point and the venture failed. Bob talked about how for years you would see these giant bales of fish leather in the strangest places but over time stock has dwindled. He hadn’t seen any for a long time until this batch came in.
After hearing this story and seeing, smelling and touching the beauty of this local treasure, I knew I needed to incorporate it into my felt pieces. The first one I’m going to share is called “Selkie” as it incorporates all of the colours of the Atlantic Ocean. The body of the shawl is cobweb felt, embellished with firestar, sari silk and silk cocoon fibres. The shawl closes with a large piece of ebony fish leather and a button made from shed antlers. There are lots of different ways to wear this piece, could even be used as a skirt or wrap.
I’m still trying to find the best way to photograph my work to share in the virtual world. To this end, I’ve been working on converting a cardboard appliance box into a light box of sorts and having some fun with photo editing to try and capture the true colours and textures. Here’s some examples of my latest work…
In the ever elusive, ever continuing search for good pictures of my pieces… they always look so much better in person… I decided to try for an outdoor photo shoot today. The rain held off and my back deck proved to be a fairly warm springtime spot to unleash my inner photographer. I had some fun with creating a backdrop but I’m still not 100% pleased with the pictures, still a bit dark and not bright enough, IMO. Oh well, it was nice to get back into the old stock, air everything out and admire work done when there wasn’t time to step back and enjoy it.
it’s that time of year again, I’m heading back to the Seaport this weekend for a full day of marketing on Saturday, come see me on the mezzanine, visitors are always welcome… Though you may want to hold off until my first coffee 😉 I’ve been busy making new pieces from my recent amazing local thrift store finds, see the picture for a sample of the incredible silks, velvet and hand-wovens I discovered… if only there was an emoticon for rubbing my hands together or maniacal laughter! I’ve also been thinking about how to setup my table this season, definitely want something colourful and fresh, have collected a few interesting display pieces over the winter. I’m also preparing for an upcoming huge show…. Stay tuned for the exciting details.
A sampling of recently discovered vintage treasures