How long does it take to make one of your pieces?
Well, it took me over 40 years of learning and experimentation to reach a point where I could control fiber (and story!) in this way. Aside from that, large pieces take longer of course. Building up the fiber three dimensionally above the canvas can add quite a bit of time as can using a challenging material, like feathers in place of eyelashes or some techniques any embroidery, needlework, weaving or wet felting at all. To be even more specific, with practice, I can now generally finish a small piece in a day, while some larger pieces can take a week or more, just in working time. When you consider that to overcome certain creative challenges I may have to learn a new technique or hunt for a suitable material, the time it take to complete any given piece really depends on what I have to go through to finish it.
Do you have a koi pond?
I do not. Alas. What I do have is a fish tank. It currently has some tetras, shrimp, plecos and an overgrowth of plants. I also have hopes and dreams. I would one day like to have a piece of land where I could build a koi pond and perhaps a series of gardens akin to what Monet created in Giverny, which I also hope to see in person someday. In my most ambitious dreams it becomes a place that people can visit. While I persevere toward that goal I also have a camera and most importantly I have my imagination. If this sounds like something you’d want to help me make happen, you can.
How Did You Come to Make Paintings with Wool?
I always have to start at the beginning to answer this question. When I was young I was taught to embroider, because that’s what you taught little girls in my family. While I can remember learning to tie my shoes, I don’t remember not knowing how to embroider. As I grew, I picked up other fiber crafts as I saw things I wanted but couldn’t afford, like certain clothes or sweaters. While waiting for my car to be repaired after an accident on the way to Thanksgiving I learned to spin yarn, which put me in touch with loose fiber and allowed me to make garments with delicious wools I couldn’t afford, much less find as yarn. Later I took a handful of classes on felting. When my marriage when sideways, and I realized I needed to find a way to earn money that didn’t take me away from my kids who were still quite little, I started to make knitting patterns. Those are still available at Ravelry, but it was hard to sell enough when many people have learned to expect them for free. I was also still learning how to be a businessperson which is it’s whole own journey. Then I happened on the book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, which lead me to trying my hand at making hats. That when well and as I made hats I realized that I would felt pictures and forms into the hats. Then I thought, I could just make these flat, and here we are now, making paintings with wool.
Where Does Your Name Come From?
I work under a pen name, first out of respect for my kids privacy, and secondly so that I can be recognized as myself. In my family it was a thing to name kids after their parents, so juniors and even III’s (thirds) are not uncommon. I was named after my mom. While I try to take that as my parents doing what they learned, it was never the best fit for me. If there were less legal and other complicating factors, I’d probably change my name. At this late date, I’ll stick with have two for now, not unlike Mark Twain. This name that I have chosen, does reference the other in a fashion, but is mostly my own creation.