This book is needle felted with the wool from my sheep, and explores and abstracts some of the textures of wool and sheep. Each page is made with wool from a different sheep, and each has a unique feel and color.
An Ode to Farm Life
These are abstracted icons and textures of everyday things found around the farm, silkscreened onto wool. The set includes a drop spindle, a kernel of corn, a sheep hoof, a hand shears, wood texture, and straw texture.
As I was making the sculptures, I realized that I was starting to view them as characters or creatures, and that to me they seemed like guardians of life and natural things. Then, I started photographing each one in a place that seemed like home or the space that it would watch over and protect. When I was photographing them, I felt like there was something missing, so I decided to incorporate bright colors, and in doing this, open up a dialogue about nature and how it is being effected by humans and inorganic materials like plastics. I took various pieces of plastic trash (plastic bag, a plastic piece of baling twine, and used them to prink brightly colored inks onto the sculptures. I also liked the bright, inorganic colors because they evoked a bower bird’s nest, particularly of a few pictures that I saw where the bird had incorporated colorful plastic and trash into their nest, which is another illustration of how the natural world is having to adapt to humans and inorganic materials.
On the Inside, We Are All The Same
This has needle felted wool 'eggs' covering a broken globe. The land is formed by egg shells, some painted, others covered with glitter glue, and still others left natural. Eggs come in every shape, size, shell color and surface texture imaginable, but they all have a yolk and albumen. Like eggs and like the eggshells on my globe, people have unique outward appearances. On the inside, however, eggs look uniform, and people are all human, and so are inherently the same. This makes intolerance and bigotry not only cruel and unjust, but ridiculously foolish.
This piece is two corresponding tapestries. I made the first tapestry by wet felting wool panels out of wool from my sheep, and then took copies of the registration and record papers of the sheep that the different wool came from, and formed them into corresponding shapes, and stiched them together with yarn that I spun. I processed the two materials in a similar way- I carded and pulled apart the wool before wet felting it, and I ripped up and pulled apart the papers before making each individual sheep's piece hold together as a separate panel with glue. The two tapestries are two records- one is the written history of the sheep, and the other is a physical one. The viewer was invited to touch the piece, to fully experience the different characteristics of the wools from the different sheep.
This is a book I needle felted from the wool of my sheep. The pages are made from the wool from four different types of sheep, with pictures of sheep of the same type on the corresponding pages. The pictures are ones I took and had printed on fabric, so I could needle felt them into the book. The pages are woven together by tree twigs that I found in my yard. I chose them for their natural look and complementing colors. The book's dimensions are 10x16x3.5 inches.
Bagpiper at Sunset
This is a panel that I needle felted with wool from my sheep. It is based off of a picture my mother took of me playing the bagpipes in the pasture at sunset. The fluffy wool enhances and complements the soft, pastel colors of the clouds, and gives it a look similar to that of an impressionist painting. The dimensions are 11x 8.5 inches.
These fun little guys are needle felted out of wool from my sheep. I sheared, skirted, and washed all of the wool, and carded and dyed some of it, leaving some of the wool not carded for the curly 'hair' and some not dyed for the natural colors for the bodies. The design for the Wee Aliens is an original one that I came up with when I was experimenting with some needle felting. Their heights range from about 3-6 inches.
This horse is needle felted from wool from four of my sheep. Since each sheep has unique fleece characteristics, I use the wool for what it works best for, such as using the shiny, strong, long Lincoln wool for the mane and tail. There is a pipe cleaner skeleton that I made then wrapped and felted the wool around. The dimensions are 9x9x2 inches.