Sunday, October 17, 2010

New York Sheep and Wool Festival

Over the decades of attending the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival we've experienced weather that ranged from monsoon rains to bone chilling cold to this weekend's perfectly exquisite quintessential autumn day replete with gorgeous foliage.

And this year, for the first in a couple decades I was free to shop, schmooze and take it all in. I wasn't teaching, I wasn't helping my friends at Amazing Threads , and I wasn't playing Suzie retailer in my friend Susan's booth...all things I love but, not happening this year.

My friend Deb and I met at building A at 9am and methodically worked our way through. We even checked out the llamas. Here is one half shorn.

Suzanne Higgsshowed us her new nuno wraps. She is also doing new hollow sculptural work. She just accepted a large corporate commission for them. Congratulations.
We breezed past the yarns, both Deb and I have quit knitting. We paused to appreciate the garments, stopped frequently for affection and visits as we ran into friends. And we sought out luscious fiber and fellow feltmakers.

Heather Kerner of Spiralworksis soooo much lovelier than this mug shot. Forgive me Heather. In 2001 Heather debuted her felt vessels here. I was captivated and asked if she would share her technique as one of the artists featured in HOW WE FELT.

Her vessels have evolved over the years. Check out the 3 pictured here. She has added a line of tote and hand bags that marry beautiful leathers from a tannery near her new home, with her gorgeous textured nuno felt.

Here is one of these totes.

And here is another of her vessels, still edged with the coiled basketry. The handbag on the right features her felt framed in buttery leather. Visiting her and her booth were the highpoint of a day abundant with highpoints.
And we saved a stop at Marlene's Felting Madnessfor last. I was hot to buy some of the fibre fusion Australian Felbi wool batts. Plus, it always a joy to see Marlene. She is a savvy and abundantly stocked wool source and patient and generous ambassador of felting, plus a high energy vibrant woman. I loved my time with her in April when she invited me to Ohio to teach workshops at the French Art Colony in Gallipolis. She told me she will be hosting a workshop with Australian feltmaker Martien vanZuilen. Martien contacted me this year when she knew she'd be stateside, to inquire about venues where she might teach. I introduced her to Jennifer via e mail and she taught at NFAC this past summer. I'm eager to see her in April when I return to Australia to teach again at TAFTA again.
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