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Claire's Welcome-To-The-World Gift

posted Sep 18, 2009, 1:41 AM by Kathleen Peters   [ updated Sep 18, 2009, 2:33 AM ]
As a craft person, I spend hours of time creating each piece I make.  Every felted piece has a story.  Where was I felting?  Who or what inspired me?  Why did I chose those colors, that image, that type of wool?  How did I feel as the picture evolved and showed itself?  Because my work is inspired by my life experiences, every piece has a part of me felted into it.  As a consequence, I often find myself emotionally attached to what I create.  Sometimes this poses a dilemma. I still find it exciting when I sell my pieces, but often I find my excitement is churned up with disappointment because I have no idea where the piece went, or whose life it will enrich, or what was liked about it.

A few years ago, I saw some paintings by Carolyn Holman in the Sundance catalog.  I loved the paintings so much that I ripped them out and kept them tucked into a journal for years.  I finally got up the nerve to call Carolyn and talk to her about her work, and to start a series of felted pieces which she inspired.  It was so exciting that she took the time to talk to me and that she was receptive to my work as well.   While I don't know where most of my work goes, one piece has been different, "Carolyn's Flowers".  This piece was made while I was demonstrating at the TWISTED fiber show last May.  While I was there one of my neighbors came through the show with her daughter-in-law who was nine months pregnant.  My neighbor purchased the piece as a welcome-to-the-world gift for her new granddaughter, Claire, while the felt was still wet.  After finishing and framing the piece, I hand delivered it.  It was received with tearful eyes, joyful smiles and a very sincere hug.  It was the highest compliment I have ever gotten for my work.  As if the joyful emotion it was received with was not compliment enough, I got a thank you note a few days later:

Kathleen,

The fiber flowers are so beautiful and a perfect welcome-to-the-world gift for Baby Claire. No question about their going right up on the wall above her crib. Thank you enormously for bringing it here this morning so she could receive it today. Hope you have a glorious Mother's Day.

Fondly,
Rainie


I hope that all of my felt is taken with such warmth and love as this one was.  I hope that my work brings joy to peoples lives.  But most of all, I hope that baby Claire starts a new story with my felt.  I hope she grows to love "Carolyn's Flowers" because it reminds her of how much her grandmother loves her and that the world has some good in it.
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