Making felted art objects and eco printed garments and paper prints are my two passions. Eco printing is the process of transferring the pigment from real leaves and blossoms onto fiber or paper and so is a seasonal practice. Once there's a hard freeze here in Minnesota and the leaves are gone, my felting season begins.
Ever since I went with my mother to the Amana Woolen Mills in Amana, Iowa to choose special fabric to make my first suit, I’ve loved working with fine wools. I saw my mother knitting but didn’t learn to knit until I was an exchange student for a year in Switzerland. It seemed as though all the Swiss girls and women knew how to knit and my host mother thought I should learn as well. I agreed and have been knitting ever since, almost exclusively with wool.
What I love about making felted wool art is the versatility and beauty of what can be created .. Seeing the beautiful colors of merino roving and the natural colors of undyed wool fibers, feeling them turn silky under my hands with the warm water and olive oil soap is luxurious. Then comes the satisfaction of seeing the soft, wet fibers begin to felt together to become one unified piece of sturdy wool fabric molded into lovely objects. The possibilities are endless!
About a year ago I learned about eco printing at a felting workshop in which we made white wool felted hats and then eco printed them. I made a few more felted, eco printed items before the leaves were gone but in spring, as soon as I noticed the wild geranium leaves turning bright green under the melting snow in my garden, I began eco printing again. This is the perfect medium to pair with my love of flower gardening, nature and color. Through eco printing I am again connected to the women in my family who have gone before me and who loved flower gardening and nature. This summer has been full of learning how to dye with natural dye stuffs and to print on cotton, linen, silk, wool and watercolor paper. It's an addicting process! Each time I open a steamed bundle of fabric or a stack of simmered eco printed papers it's Christmas morning - always a surprise! I've begun to turn my garden into a dye and print friendly garden and hope the seeds and perennials I plant this fall will provide me in the spring with lots of new possibiities.
I hope that you will discover something that I’ve made that will inspire you and awaken your sense of beauty, joy, and your own creative self.