Meet the Artist
About This Artist
Jennifer creates garments using ancient felting techniques. Fusing merino wool with hand-dyed silk, she designs scarves, wraps and clothing that convey a sense of tranquility and timelessness. While living in New Zealand, where sheep dominate the landscapes, her interest in fiber arts grew. Today, she analyzes the interaction of colors and fibers to create long lasting wearable art pieces. Wearing handcrafted wool garments helps to ground us in this fast-paced world.
Q&A With This Artist
A: I start with merino wool and dye it the color scheme required for a new project. I then lay out the wool wisp by wisp on bubble wrap. At times I use silk as well. Next I wet the entire project with soapy water and cover it with plastic. At this stage I gently rub the surface until the fibers begin to tangle. Rolling up the project in the bubble wrap I roll and roll and roll. When the fibers become a fabric, I gently drop the piece onto the table. Then the piece is thoroughly rinsed and dried.
A: My passion comes from my love of textiles and wool. I never tire of sticking my hand into a fresh fleece to feel its softness. I love holding, feeling, and touching luscious fibers. I love being able to create color palettes through dyeing, mixing, and blending. I love designing wearable art pieces from wool. I love watching people drape my creations around their neck, looking at themselves in the mirror and saying, “Oh. This feels so nice!”
A: My husband and I lived in New Zealand for five years. I went into a store full of hand crafted goods and saw a beautiful scarf. I couldn’t determine how it was made. The clerk told me it was felted. I had to learn how to make this. While in New Zealand I studied felting in all it’s forms, wet, needle, nuno, prefelts. When we returned to the U.S. I brought all my new skills with me and continued learning how different wools reacted when felted. I’ve been felting now for 12 years.
A: For inspiration I look at Mark Rothko and Claude Monet paintings, web images of saltwater fish, and abstract art.
A: Doing “Craft” expands community. Artists share new techniques with others. Artists use craft to explore political issues. Betsy Ross sewed a flag. This flag started a new country. Quilters have screamed “Black Lives Matter.” Pussy hats were knitted to protest the rhetoric used toward women and minorities in elections. We share personal stories with communities that we can’t see but can impact through our displayed craft pieces. These approaches are ways that craft helps us connect.
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