__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

stories of the trees a surface design online challenge


A surface design online members challenge


Many artists have catalogues of pictures of trees and leaves and barks and roots. Each species has such unique, inspiring and varying surfaces and forms. Lace Bark, Eucalyptus, Maples, Birch, Palm‌ Seed, Bark, Leaf, Root and Branch . Every year I set a challenge for those who have taken my Surface Design Online workshop. The challenges are designed to encourage creative thinking and further exploration of the techniques presented in the online workshop. Sometimes a set of parameters and a deadline are all we need to push ourselves a little farther in our feltmaking. The challenges are a fun, annual exercise to connect and inspire our community. The theme for this year's members challenge is the Stories of the Trees. Members were asked to pick a tree to use as inspiration and create a feltwork based on this using Surface Design Online techniques in the project of their choice. The work created was stellar, using many different techniques from the workshop in a great variety of projects. Mainly though, each person created something wonderful, while sharing their ideas and stories and being supportive of others as they all stretched into the challenge. It is a honour and delight for me to work with everyone featured here. A heartfelt thank you to you all for participating. I hope you enjoy seeing and reading about their individual Stories of the Trees as much as I do.

www.fionaduthie.com

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“These two tall vessels depict the peeling bark of an old tree trunk in my garden. I used Bergshaaf and Jacob wool for texture and great stability . The techniques used included prefelt additions and carving when fully felted to help keep the sharpness of the colour. I experimented with both bridges and resist, cutting in the leaf shape to giving the peeling affect. My pieces here sample techniques learnt in the Surface Design Online workshop in 3 D, depicting textures seen in the old tree trunk. I feel these pieces are part of a journey, not a final piece.“ Angela creates objects in felt, beautiful but useful, with purpose. She sees herself not as an artist but as a felt “maker” designing and modelling a form that works for her and hopefully for others. She looks at things, improves on form, adapts. She loves to demonstrate feltmaking, aspiring to develop her skills and inspire others to have a go. Angela is a member of the International Feltmakers Association and take part in regional exhibitions and workshops

Angela MacEwan derbyshire, england

A surface design online members challenge


“ I choose to represent the Birch tree for it's majestic and graceful appearance. They are beautiful in all seasons from the bright green leaves in spring, the dappled summer shade, yellow fall colours and most of all it's attractive creamy white with dark, horizontal, streaked textured bark. It is striking in the woods amongst a fresh winter snowfall. It is a view for the making of an artistic statement.� Ann has been felting for a very short time and is inspired by the beautiful felted works of experienced artists. She feels this inspiration helps her on her learning journey to create her own beautiful works. Ann believes it is important to create just for the sake of creating.

Ann DeGraff british columbia, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“A local walk I do often has some big oaks with gnarly bark and delicate lichen. It is a walk that always makes my heart sing and makes me look at nature in different ways. With my little nuno felted bag, I wanted to connect and contrast the strength of the tree bark and the lightness of the lichen. I worked with natural coloured Merino and Romney wool, nuno felted with a second hand, hand painted silk scarf. The bag closes with a ceramic button purchased last year and saved for the right project, my story of the trees.� Jane Dolan lives in Christchurch City, South Island, New Zealand. Felting is a passion for Jane. She has been part of a local group of felters http://southernfelters.blogspot.co.nz/ since 2010, getting together to share felting days, annual retreats and lots of fibre fun/knowledge. Jane has attended several workshops by international tutors that have braved the distance to come and teach in NZ. She enjoys the online community of felters and wonderful on line courses that are available. Jane sells her feltwork at a local community market, and exhibits and teaches feltmaking in her community,

Jane Dolan new zealand

A surface design online members challenge


“I regularly walk past the gum tree that inspired this piece. I love the contrast of the smooth bark with the rough, the delicate light grey and white with the deep dark browns and tans. I love the smear of rust colour down the trunk from the rough brown scar spot and the way the bark falls from the upper limbs and is caught up by the tree before it reaches the ground. This vessel incorporates shadowing, for depths, silk and prefelts for patches of colour and texture. A crater with a base of devore velvet creates the textured spot. Tunnels were cut open to create the peeling bark. A bridge was made to entrap the pieces of ‘bark’ that fall from the tree. Small pieces of hard felt have been entrapped to mimic the textured spots found on the trunk.”

Heather lives in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges, Victoria, Australia. She was first attracted to felting just a few years ago and has attended felting workshops with local and international tutors since 2014. She loves the many possibilities of felt – colour, form, texture and structure combined with beautiful tactile properties. And most of all she loves the unexpected outcomes – felting can be so serendipitous. Heather has exhibited and sold work at local and state art shows and had work published in the Australian magazine: Felt. Heather is a member of the Baw Baw Arts Alliance and the Surface Design Association.

A surface design online members challenge


Heather Brimblecombe victoria, australia

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“ ‘Mother Nature’ My inspiration for this felted wall hanging came from a picture of a womanly figure carved from a baron tree in Portugal called “Mother Nature, Portugal” I decided that my Mother Nature would have bark. This was done using a resist to make the trunk wider and then cutting up the back. I chose to do a shibori technique for the bark and cotton gauze for the nuno technique of the squares. Stitching was added for definition. As a child I lived on a farm in Iowa and spent endless afternoons playing among and climbing trees. To be in a grove of trees and listen to the sound of the wind and not feel the breeze because of the shelter, seemed to deliver a comfortable mothering feeling. Strong yet bendable, sheltering yet free, rooted yet reaching for more.”

Deb loves exploring the world and is stimulated by vibrant color. Nature and found objects inspire her. When she travel to other cities and countries ,the souvenirs she usually brings home are rocks and twigs to add to art projects. Having worked in the hair industry for over 40 years, using wool as an art medium comes quite naturally. Deb was recently honored to be one of the featured artists in the book “Worldwide Colors of Felt” by Ellen Bakker. feltersforte.com

Deb Koesters iowa, usa

A surface design online members challenge


Donna Stockdale saskatchewan, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“The forest fires in northern Saskatchewan a year ago reduced many trees to ash. Others were killed but, like this pine tree, remained standing with the charred bark revealing the orange-coppery wood underneath, as though the memories of the fire lingered within the tree. This wall hanging is 12 in by 16 inches, made from a variety of wool, bits of silk and sheer nylon, using shadowing, nuno, tape and resist techniques.�

Donna has lived in the Canadian Precambrian Shield in northern Saskatchewan for nearly four decades. Her passion for the rocky shores, the boreal forest, the lichens and mosses, the waterways, and the creatures that inhabit it is evident in her work. Since 2010, she has used wet and needle-felting techniques to create felt pictures and sculptural works to express the rich colour and textures in both the grand and the small places around her. Donna has exhibited her work across Canada in juried and group exhibitions.

A surface design online members challenge


“There is a Paper Birch tree (Betula papyrifera) I pass on my daily walks. Much of the tree has died back with only a portion able to support leafy branches. The exposed areas of the tree bark are an endless source of interest for me, so textural, and ever changing with the seasons or time of day. A wall hanging seemed a perfect way to capture the spirit of that. The SDO techniques I used were shadowing, exotic fibres, raised prefelt, colour carvings, and pockets. The piece is hung to mimic the shape of the tree.” Ellen has been working with fibre for over 20 years, but it is felt that continues to captivate her. It is a versatile, sometimes unpredictable, medium with endless possibilities for creative expression which she finds inspiring and energizing. Her subject matter comes primarily from the natural world and she attempts to capture with felt not only nature's quiet beauty, but how it moves her inwardly. Ellen’s work has been shown in juried exhibitions in Canada and the US., and is currently on display at the Artisan Gallery in Priest River, Idaho.

Ellen Pfalzgraff idaho, usa

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“Stories of Trees offered so many ideas but I stayed with the strong memory that first got into my mind. It is the moment of awakening and returning of life when the beech forest turn light green and gives you the feeling of entering a cathedral. The shawl is made of merino prefelt covered with cotton gauze of different colours, merino tops, merino/silk mix and hard cocoons. I love the Surface Design Online challenges. They encourage me to think and plan more, and deepen my creative exploration in felt .� evanunotovar.vpsite.se/

Eva Helgesson skĂĽne county, sweden

A surface design online members challenge


"I created an exploratory piece, just a sample to explore the relationship of felt and tree surfaces. I used the tape technique from Surface Design Online. In the Yukon Boreal forest, I am surrounded by spruce trees...slow growing, hardy trees. Spruce bark tends to split as the tree grows, and that process reveals the beautiful rusty colour of the under layers.� Katy has been attracted to felting since she was exposed to it while homeschooling her son almost 12 years ago. She loves the magic that happens with such simple ingredients and some creativity. It lends itself to so many applications. She is deeply affected by the natural world, and that inspiration finds its way into what she creates. In June 2016, Katy presented a fashion show of her clothing pieces during Whitehorse Nuit Blanche---a celebration of the longest day of the year.

Katy Delau yukon, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“The green ash tree outside my condo balcony is very precious as it connects me to the peace, serenity and beauty of nature and provides me with shade, privacy and the opportunity to view the many feathered friends it attracts. I created the 12" X 9.5" wall hanging to depict the intricate texture of the bark and the hanging leaves using the tape and spike technique with natural coloured Finn and Corriedale as well as merino fibre. I hoped that the viewer would appreciate how something so simple but fascinating could transform one's existence “ Dianne’s journey with natural fibres began 30 years ago when she started spinning their own sheep wool which led to many fibre related workshops and retreats. Her passion for felting, with it's wonderfully creative and tactile qualities is more recent. Dianne often combines her love of nature, particularly birds, with her feltmaking which she sells at the Handmade House in Saskatoon and the Station Arts in Rostern, SK.

Dianne Murphy saskatchewan, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“My favorite tree shawl. The branches wrap around the wearer, enfolding them with their quiet strength and beauty. The leaves are made from felted sheets; the thin cylinders of the flowers I cut out. Created using habotai silk, and merino wool.”

Ildikó Szakács hungary

A surface design online members challenge


“Our life is surrounded by the rainforest. The view from my home and studio is that of young meeting old. Fruit trees we've planted over the years are dwarfed by the old Maples, Cedars, Hemlocks and Firs. The young Apples and Pears look delicate against the gnarled lichen and moss covered giants. I love the contrast. This piece was an excellent challenge for me. I wanted to explore as many techniques as I could from Surface Design Online, and bring them together in a harmonious fashion celebrating these trees of life.�

Ayami Stryck british columbia, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“I chose a gingko leaf because of the cherished memories it evokes for me. While living in Japan, I continually noticed the bright leaves of Gingko trees when walking amidst some of the magnificent gardens and parks. Once I moved back to California, I noticed many trees growing in my neighborhood. In autumn, when the leaves fell off the trees, it was always a picturesque view with the bright yellow leaves spread upon the deep green grassy carpet. I would gather them up and store them away in the hopes an idea would take shape for usage later in life. Time passed and ideas changed. Instead of dry brittle leaves, I decided to try using a malleable felt form and it worked beautifully. This challenge employed several SDO techniques; partial resist in order to shape the gingko leaves and give them dimension & depth, a crater in the shape of a gingko leaf, prefelts cut into leaf shape & felted nuno inclusions & pockets.” Linda has been an artist since 1979 and has worked with different art mediums, mostly painting. She stumbled upon felt about 3 years ago and there was no turning back. It captured a need in her soul that other mediums never seemed to fill. Linda has taken several online courses and attended workshops to enhance her education in this fascinating exploration of felt. Feltmaking is a journey that has twists and turns and just when you think you have mastered it, another surprise presents itself. Linda’s life is one of constant flux; a state of continual change, which draws her to this medium that seems to do the same thing. Presently, Linda lives in New Mexico, the lovely southwest where her work can be purchased at Marigold Arts in Santa Fe, NM, and Artemisia in Taos, NM. Linda’s work has been featured in Felt Magazine Issue 15. lsainta.wix.com/wearableart

A surface design online members challenge


Linda St Angelo new mexico, usa

A surface design online members challenge


“When traveling I seek an environmentally balanced experience. The stimulation of the city creates a need for the quiet and tranquil energy of the countryside. For me trees provide a sense of well-being, privacy, and mystery. When hiking in Sedona Arizona I happened upon a Sycamore or Platanus Occidentalis in the middle of an otherwise unrelenting red rock landscape. The contrast was stunning. In shades of ivory and grey the bark was peeling in large sheets. The trunk was punctuated by a prominent callous providing additional textural interest. Driven to recreate this image I found that fiber was the perfect medium. The surface design techniques that I employed were tape resist to replicate the peeling bark, a felted cone to duplicate the callous, and surface stitching to define areas of bark color. My desire is for this piece to evoke feelings of curiosity about the natural world.” One of Janette’s first experiences with fiber was at a young age when she learned to knit. This was followed by experimentation with many materials with her current focus on kiln formed glass, art quilting, and felting. Janette works from her home in SW Florida. Janette is a member of Art Quilters Unlimited and the Art Council of SW Florida.

Janette Piscitelli florida, usa

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“This piece ,‘Singed’, is based on the patterns, textures and colours of the tree bark singed by fire while doing a controlled burn on our property in rural Western Australia. Using colour to highlight the gradation from the dark singed areas of the tree bark, to the white untouched areas, I have used merino wool and silk throwster waste to create the prefelt. There is a huge colour range found in eucalyptus tree bark, even pinks and blues. I used the Shibori technique, to create the dimensional surface, an excellent technique for creating bark -like textures. The addition of the silk throwster waste, with its wonderful lustre, added contrast to the dark black singed areas and the lighter, untouched areas of the tree.” Sue is captivated by the traditional feltmaking process; its sensual quality and the huge potential of felt as an artistic medium. Her inspiration comes mainly from nature, but colour, pattern and texture are also important factors in Sue’s work. Sue has exhibited her work in the South West Fashion Festival, Sculpture by the Bay, and was finalist in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Common Threads Wearable Art Competition where her garment was Highly Commended. Sue’s work has been published in Textile Downunder and Felt Magazine, as well as the “Worldwide Colours of Felt” by Ellen Bakker. Sue shows her work through the Studio Gallery in Yallingup, Western Australia. www.facebook.com/yallingupFelt

Sue Smorthwaite western australia

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


Marion lives in Perth, Western Australia where Eucalyptus trees grow in abundance. She is fascinated by the wonderful colours and textures of the bark and is constantly photographing them. Some species have smooth, satiny bark whilst others are knotted and gnarled. A tree that she passes every day that was her source of inspiration. The techniques incorporated are from the Surface Design Online workshop: shadowing, nuno quilting, application of pre-felts and silk fabric cut-outs for leaves, carving, shibori anemones for gum nuts and stitching for emphasis and definition.

.

Marion Finneran western australia

A surface design online members challenge


“The story of this tree began with a piece of drift-

wood. My sister asked me to create a wall hanging with it. Because the driftwood was once a living tree, I wanted to include a tree in the design. I added roots and seed pods to complete the cycle of life of the tree. The tree was made using the color carving method from the Surface Design Online class. Silk was felted into the background and the roots are cords that were felted together. The ideas evolved as I worked on the piece, kind of like a tree that grows and changes from a seed to tree to a piece of wood tossed about in water. I like the idea of taking something that once lived and giving it new life. The wall hanging is about 26 inches by 40 inches.”

Fibers and art have been part of Maria’s life since childhood, but she didn’t discover wet felting until a few years ago. While looking online she discovered wet felting artists and their work and wondered how they could take fibers of wool and create 2D and 3D objects. Since then, she has taken felt workshops with several talented felters. Felting appeals to her because it is a tactile form of art. The textures, color, and versatility of the fibers inspire her. Maria’s pieces have been shown in her hometown of Macomb, Illinois, USA, at the West Central Illinois Art Center and at the Gazebo Art Festival. www.facebook.com/Feltbymmontalvo/.

A surface design online members challenge


Maria Montalvo illinois, usa

A surface design online members challenge


Zoe Leetch new zealand

A surface design online members challenge


“We are part owners in a wonderful fruitful orchard and I was knee-

deep in processing apples at the time this piece was made. It is an apple tree playmat for the twin daughters of friends who shared in the labours and fruit of the orchard. I was most interested in creating different textures for the babies to explore. Slow-felting wool softens the repositionable apples and the eggs tucked inside their nest pocket. Muslin and silk form textured roots and trunk, and a variety of techniques from Surface Design Online shape the leaves including resists, inclusions, flaps and fabric manipulation.”

Wool has always been part of Zoe’s life. Zoe grew up on a small sheep farm in New Zealand and learned to appreciate the full process of the fibre from it's growth to a finished product. She began felting eight years ago in Mongolia, the homeland of the craft, whilst living and working there. With a Mongolian husband in tow Zoe returned to live in New Zealand in a yurt covered with thick felt. In this space she make her work, aiming to create clothing and artwork that draws viewers irresistibly into reaching out and touching, feeling, stroking. She is drawn to the tactile nature of felt and it's transformative qualities - the way in which disparate elements are melded into a cohesive whole, fibres and fabrics merging to create new textures, forms, and colours. Zoe has shown her work at the Art Bank Gallery in Golden Bay, NZ, and participated in the annual Bay Art Exhibition.

A surface design online members challenge


“For the Tree Challenge I chose to make a section of bark from a Eucalyptus tree. Where I live in Southern California there are many varieties of Eucalyptus and they all have different kinds of bark. I created a Bark Journal and started recording in watercolors the different colors and textures from the trees I was seeing on daily walks with my dogs. One Eucalyptus tree in particular captured my interest. I was fascinated with how many different colors and textures there were in just one small section of bark. It really blew my preconceived notion that bark is “just brown”. I thought felting would be a perfect medium to show the variety of textures and colors of this piece of bark. I used my wool carder to blend some wools in browns, greens and black. In the wet felting process I used one of the Surface Design Online resist techniques to recreate the shreds of bark that were peeling from the tree and included wool nepps and burlap to capture some of the rough and bumpy textures embedded in the wood. I opened up several felted areas to create holes and reveal layers of color below the surface. I included some scraps of silk for a bit of color variation and some locks of sheep wool for some crimpy texture. I hope that the viewer of my piece will get a sense of the complexity of bark and all the colors and textures that can be found in one small area of the wood. The pods were inspired by the Kurrajong tree from a park near my house. I used a small plastic disk for each pod as a resist and as the wool began to shrink around the disk I cut it open and felted it into the pod shape so it would be three dimensional. I felted small balls for the seeds and wrapped pipe cleaners with wool for the branches. Our tree challenge inspired me to look at trees closely and see each little part more closely. ” Randi has been a watercolor artist for 25 years but a felter for only two. She became interested in felting when she started spinning her own art yarns, knitting and weaving. She initially took a beginning felting class just because she thought she should know about it as a fiber artist but had never thought of it as an art form by itself. In the course of the Surface Design Online class, the world of felt as an art form opened up for her and she fell in love with it! Randi’s Skyscape series was featured in the Felt Evolution blog. Randi is inspired by nature and the world around her. She keeps a watercolor journal of things of inspirations, using this as a starting point to create a felted piece. Randi’s studio is in her home but she often felts in her kitchen, where she finds it meditative to roll and work the felt while gazing through her kitchen window at her garden. .

A surface design online members challenge


Randi Winters california, usa

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“The "Trees" challenge was perfect for me. I live in a very wooded area and

often walk among the trees. My color selection was the first step in my piece and I wanted it to be a vessel. I chose to use the Surface Design Tape Technique to create depth and layers. I made a round resist to match our round house. Cairns and the idea that they often mark a path to follow is appealing to me, and I added a collection of stones to represent this and complete the work.� Rosie has been working with fiber since she was 8 years old, when her mother sent her and her sister to a knitting class. She explored weaving, spinning and over the last 20+ years has focused on felting. Much of her work is nature inspired and often process based. Rosie enjoys taking workshops around the country to help stimulate and expand her knowledge of this ever evolving ancient craft. From these she pushes her limits through self exploration. Rosie lives in Door County, Wisconsin and her work is featured in a local gallery which is also a sheep farm, a good fit for her feltwork. Rosie teaches at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, "The Clearing" folk art school in Door County and various fiber retreats.

Rosie Dittman wisconsin, usa

A surface design online members challenge


““I was born and grew up in Russia. For Russian people the Birch Tree means a lot. It is one of the symbols of our country - we devoted songs, poems, and dances to the Birch Tree. Some people are still making shoes, dishes, and musical instruments out of the Birch. In this northern climate, everything looks and feels differently after a snowstorm. The reflection of the sunshine blinds your eyes, the trees are the same color with the snow, and the black spots are the only things your eyes can rest upon. In this project I used several techniques I learned from the Surface Design Online class - working with the resists (birch trees); nuno inclusions, and some embroidery stitches around Sun; I also worked with the pencil roving (shadows of the trees). In this project I have a lot of exotic fibers including silk and viscous. Working at my Birch Trees project I wanted to share with all of you my love and passion not only to felt, but to the place in the world I lived for a long part of my life. The pictures of North are the most precious pictures in my memory.”

Emilia has been felting for almost four years.She does not consider herself an artist, but enjoys every step of the feltmaking process. She believes that her feltworks may not look as gorgeous as she planned them to be, but they all have right to exist. For her, they are like her children; impossible not to love. Naturally.

Emilia Ponomarev russia (colorado in 2016)

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“I have spent a lot of time next to rivers and wetlands in Western Canada. A common, but magnificent tree is the black poplar/cottonwood. They have craggy bark that falls off in chunks after the tree dies. There is often a part that has bark holding on and then a part that is a smooth silvery grey with insect tracks. This work is made from merino cross wool, employing shibori stitching, anemones, lace, and exotic fibres, all techniques from the Surface Design Online workshop. This “log” is intended to cover a body that is wrapped for natural burial. It can be displayed, used as a catalyst to talk about end of life wishes and then it will completely decompose to transform into something new in the circle of life. As humans , we need to reconnect with the natural world ,including the openings that all death provides. Everything living eventually dies- not knowing when is part of the trip. “ Carmen is inspired by the natural world, gathering ideas by poking into nooks and crannies and taking macro photos. Her pockets are often sagging, full of rocks and other treasures. She has been making art her whole life, felt for seven years. For a period she worked in long term and palliative care. During that time she sat with a lot of people as they died and observed that fear of death can rob us of joy in life. This informs her current work. Carmen and her family live in the verdant Creston Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

www.carmenditzler.com

Carmen Ditzler british columbia, canada

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“There is a tree, The Burmis Tree, a Limber Pine which lived for about 700 years before it died in the late 1970s. It stands sentinel, close to the Alberta/BC border, in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. My felted interpretation in my journal cover uses shadowing, nuno inclusions, nui shibori on the trunk and limbs and bead embellishment. Made from grey Alpaca, Corriedale/Coopworth, Merino and Tussah silk. The Burmis Tree is a landmark for me when travelling beyond the South Eastern border of British Columbia. “ “Roots push their way through the earth, steadying and nourishing the tree above. Never seeing daylight, but caught amongst the gems, rocks and microbial life of the soil, their invisible but vital influence is my inspiration for "Roots". This Merino/ Alpaca/Silk purse is organic, with asymmetrical spikes, craters hiding patterned satin and silk cocoons, silk lap embellished with beads. A tree without roots is just a piece of wood. “ Sandra Barrett is a professional blacksmith and fibre artist who loves to incorporate felting with forge work. Her portfolio includes original work exhibited at the Fernie Arts Station, Fernie Museum and Eye of the Needle Gallery, which she owns and operates. Sandra feels privileged to be one of 18 Canadians whose work has been included in 'Worldwide Colours of Felt' by Ellen Bakker. Sandra's felt diorama is on the cover of Issue 15 of Australian magazine 'Felt'. One of her multimedia sculptures incorporating steel, felt and glass is currently displayed in Fernie Museum. Sandra's first solo exhibition 'Winter Light' will be held early next year, as part of a Columbia Basin Trust grant she was awarded in 2016. Sandra is a member of Fernie Spinners and Weavers Guild, felt :: feutre Canada and the International Feltmakers Association.

www.fernieforge.ca

Sandra Barrett british columbia, canada

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


Sarah Carr massachusetts, usa

A surface design online members challenge


“This piece was made to emulate the textures and colors of found piece of weathered tree bark. The base layer is very dark grey Romney. I laid down areas of bright green, lavender, and deep purple fleece, as well as pale green sari silk to try to capture the depth and variety of colors in the inspiration bark. I used coarse wool and tape to create dimension and bark like texture. Shiny silk fiber revealed underneath resembles lichen. Finally, I cut through the surface in areas, revealing the dark brown layer under the lighter colored surface.� Sarah Carr creates contemporary fine art using a combination of ancient and modern materials and processes. Her pieces explore texture, line, and rhythm using vibrant colors and abstracted forms and patterns. Her art engages the viewer, harnessing the human tendency to organize our experiences in terms of what we find familiar: a series of lines evoke sand dunes or waves; a dark, angular shape becomes a mountain in the imagination of the viewer. Sarah is a member of the Surface Design Association and the International Felt Makers Association.

www.carrarts.com

A surface design online members challenge


“I have never seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. I wanted to work with bark for the challenge & create with bright colours and the Rainbow Eucalyptus leant itself as inspiration. I have used prefelts, shadowing, surface stitching & silk. I worked out a detailed plan for this piece before beginning to layout my wool. I seldom do this...perhaps this is why I deem this work successful enough to be on the wall & not hidden away! I love the Surface Design Online members challenges for the way they stretch me technically and artistically.�

Sonia McLellan bristol, england

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“ Inspired by a tiny sapling struggling to survive in a dried up creek bed on the Argyle Diamond Mine lease in the remote Kimberley Region of Western Australia, my piece contrasts the big sky, the parched surface and the unique rich beauty of the pink and champagne diamonds deep in the earth below. Super fine Australian merino is used predominantly, with a silk and merino blend for the parched earth. The sapling is made using prefelts and is free motion machine embroidered. Rhinestones enclosed in fine silk signify the diamonds embed deep below.� Sue is textile artist (mine manager in a former life) working from her seaside studio in Safety Bay,Western Australia. Her work in multiple textile mediums draws from themes in nature and politics. Sue exhibits regularly and her work has found homes across Australia, the UK, Italy, the USA and Canada

Sue Sacchero Western Australia , Australia

A surface design online members challenge


“My tree story stars the bark of the Ponderosa Pine. Pine trees are everywhere in northern New Mexico, where I live. Locals harvest and trade their pinon nuts in the fall, and I remember poking around in the pine cones for them when I was a child. Now, exploring in the Jemez wilderness, you encounter their charred remains from the devastating Cerro Grande fire which burned 48,000 acres almost 20 years ago. It brings tears to your eyes when you think of what the mountains used to look like, the homes and trees that were lost, and a joy when we see the vegetation just starting to return after 20 years. My tree story is encapsulated in a felted fiber ball, a tree ornament which can be hung up in a bird sanctuary, and filled with fiber for nesting birds to collect. The SDO techniques I used include spikes, nui shibori, color carving, and lace. While working the lace in the bottom, I noticed that creating a round shape between the holes improved stability. This reminded me of my structural engineering teacher's lecture on why trees are round, as the circular section provides the strongest resistance to wind forces from all directions.� Susan looks to felt to express her thoughts on life, gratitude, love, joy, hope, and humor (hopefully). For her, the felt medium offers several unique opportunities: its flexible, its reversible, and its soft. A felted object can be viewed from a different angle, where we find new, often unintended insights - unconscious expressions of deeper truths, which can be quite moving.

Susan Lime new mexico, usa

A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


A surface design online members challenge


“I have collected several photos of Bearberry bark over the years, although it is not native to the UK the beautiful and striking colours of this tree keep drawing me back, I have made several pieces based on these photos including, most recently, this hat, using the tape resist and shadowing techniques. The close up is silk added to the brim which I think looks a lot like textured bark too.�

Teri is drawn to the textures and colours expressed so majestically by trees, both in the woodland near her home in the UK and in photos of more exotic species. She loves the combination of the creative freedom and technical (fitting) constraints of making felt hats.

She discovered the magic of wool felt in 2012 and completed her City and Guilds certificate in Constructed Textiles (felt making) in 2014. Teri enjoys teaching felt making and has exhibited locally with the International Feltmaker’s Association and nationally with the Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers

Teri Berry surrey, england

A surface design online members challenge


“The inspiration for my Sakura cherry blossom tree came from a visit to Japan during springtime when people celebrate this occasion. I have used merino wool as a canvas, adding some cut up wool and nips, building texture using resists and prefelts . The raised elements in the flowers and trunk are intended to add a sense of life to the work, as the selection of colour, with the tree branches weaving in and out of our view. “

Ursula Bentz british columbia, canada

A surface design online members challenge


“Many Springs is a special place on the way to the Mountains. Every week there are different wildflowers and that is where there is a particular birch tree with a lovely shiny rusty coloured bark with marks that look just like stitching. I used some rusted silk organza strips and wool stitching to try to convey the beautiful marks and various colours of Merino wool to capture the many shades of rust of the bark.� Wendy has been experimenting with felting for a number of years but this is the first time she has made a garment. She has previously had felted pieces in a group travelling exhibitions, one of which travelled to England and across Canada. Wendy has had her work shown on the front cover of the Embroiderer's Association of Canada's publication. Wendy feels she is still learning the myriad of possibilities that can be achieved with felt and is excited to continue her exploration of this lovely tactile medium.

Wendy Klotz Alberta , Canada

A surface design online members challenge


Stories of the Trees is the theme of the annual challenge set for past participants of Fiona Duthie’s Surface Design Online feltmaking workshop. The challenges are designed to encourage creative thinking and further exploration of the techniques presented in the online workshop, while connecting and inspiring our community. www.fionaduthie.com

Profile for Fiona Duthie

Stories of the Trees Felt Exhibition Catalogue  

Surface Design Online Members Feltmaking Challenge 2016

Stories of the Trees Felt Exhibition Catalogue  

Surface Design Online Members Feltmaking Challenge 2016

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded