My Nuno Felt Ensemble,"Earth", Modeled by Rachel Worrall


What an an absolutely marvelous time I had yesterday.  I worked with Rachel Worrall, Carolyn Ross and her assistant Carmen at Wellesely College's greenhouse, producing photos of my seamless nuno felted creation, "Earth". I have always wanted to create something that evolved around the four elements, and though I paint and have made many paintings, which somtimes include one of the elements, as a series, I could never quite see my way to a complete narrative.

When I started imagining making seamless garments- envisioning the designs, colors and styles-that is when I found my narrative thread, (no pun intended). Fiber, wool, felt are all so elemental. I don't think it is a stretch to say that the four elements are involved in the creation of felt. There is the wool, from sheep who feed on and fertilize the earth. Water, a very necessary ingredient for creating firm solid felt. Air, well, anyone who has ever made felt, will tell you how much effort one exerts in the rolling and beating, stretching of the wool, all of which requires air. Lastly fire, in felt, hot water will speed the felting process along, and hot water, requires fire.

I am planning on creating four ensembles to represent the four elements. I started with "Earth" I used lots of different greens from my B. Felt palette, and some hot house flower colors. I think I was trying to escape, at least in my mind, the stark cold reality of winter in Boston.

 Next I will get to work on water. I just purchased some spectacular hand painted blue silk chiffon from Gorgeous Fabrics. I am imagining a little cocktail dress with lots of flirty ruffles. Oh well we will see,. I begin by drawing, but then something happens when I actually start manipulating the fabric, It talks to me, directs me to its form and colors. As artists we should always pay attention to those voices. I know that if I try to force an idea instead of just grabbing it by the tail and allowing it to pull me along, I am inevitably disappointed..


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