Moths and Wool

Post date: Apr 03, 2010 12:18:48 PM

It seems strange to be interested in both wool and moths. Together they are completely taboo. But it all started last summer when I saw my first emperor moth. It was stunningly beautiful with its five inch wing span of rich, velvety browns and oranges. I was fortunate enough to be able to study it for quite sometime as it was perched on the side of my house. The eyes on its wings were absolutely amazing! I started reading about moths and I even went so far as to buy a moth and butterfly field guide book. Here in New England, we will be approaching moth season in about six weeks. They are mostly nocturnal, and so most of the showy moths are not commonly seen. Since moving here to NH, I have only seen two luna moths. One was dead and found in my yard, the other was just a flitting bit of color against my windowpane one night. However, I have been doing my homework. Apparently you can lure them in using a number of methods and I plan on trying some of them out early this June. You can make a sweet nectar of fermented fruit and honey and then brush the concoction on some trees. With the aide of a flashlight, I should be able to lure them in. I am hoping for success. In the mean time, I have been felting up a storm (as usual). I currently have some moth vessels for sale at the League of NH Craftsmen art gallery in Hanover, NH. Here is my favorite, "The Night's Luna Moth". Actually, I had a hard time letting this one go - I thought about keeping it.

The Night's Luna Moth, 2010-V5

The Night's Luna Moth, detail

Oddly enough, I am not the only felter who is interested in wool, moths and butterflies. Jean Gauger of Sugarplum Originals is also. She is rather well known (in the felting world) for making shawls out of Nuno felt with patterns of moths and butterflies. Nuno felt is made with very small amounts of wool, which is felted to a foundation of a very light weight fabric, often silk. The result is an incredibly strong fabric that drapes beautifully. I first saw Gauger's work down at the New England Felting Supply, but I was most recently struck by the her stunning Blue Morpho Butterfly shawl which she is selling on her Etsy shop. The Shawl is reversible and has beautiful buttons - an absolute show stopper!

Jean Gauger of Sugarplum Originals

Blue Morpho Shawl found at