Owning My Own Felt

Post date: May 05, 2010 12:23:32 AM

So often, I sell my felt, but it is nice to have a piece solely for myself now and then. There are really not too many pieces I have been unable to part with. Each of my pieces has a story behind them, based on an experience from my life. Sometimes it is a place I have been or something I have seen, but it is always deeply personal. Some pieces become too personal to give up easily.

"View from Lake Solitude"

"View from Lake Solitude, 2008-W7" is a felted wallhanging based on a road trip my husband and I took as newly weds. We went to the Grand Teton National Park and I saw a picture of Lake Solitude. I had to hike to it. The original plan was to hike from the far side of Lake Jenny up to Lake Solitude and then return. Once at Lake Solitude, we noticed the trail continued up over Hurricane Pass. Too excited not to continue, we headed up over the pass and then down Cascade Canyon, around Lake Jenny and back to our tent. By the end of the day, our 14 mile hike turned into a 24 mile hike with a vertical relief of 3,600' and I was grossly tired. But the experience was so exhilarating, I can't even tell you. The views were the most amazing I had seen at the time in my life. It was a day of discovery and respect. I learned something about the wonderful world I live in, about myself and my physical limits, and about how much I love sharing my life with John. This was the first of countless "extreme" hikes we have done. The trip solidified a loving, growing relationship with my new husband. The felted piece hangs in my living room as a physical reminder of how much I changed that day. It serves as a reminder of who I want to be and what I believe in.

"Oriole, 2008-V1"

"Oriole, 2008-V1" is a piece I created from a picture on a Kleenex box. Not very exciting, really. But it has grown to mean a lot to me. It was the first piece I made combining wet felting and needle felting techniques. It was a day of experimentation where I discovered much about how to control my work, and it was a huge leap toward what I wanted to accomplish. It was the first piece that removed the abstractness and provided more structure to my felting - which appeals to my engineering side. Anyway, I am proud of it, and it sits on my dinning room hutch.

It has been two years, and about a hundred pieces later - I finally made another piece I don't want to part with. This piece is a bag with a felted blue heron on it. "Blue Heron, 2010-V18."

"Blue Heron, 2010-V18"

This felted bag resulted from a class I was teaching. After two people dropped out, I decided to give the other students the opportunity to make something a little more complex than originally planned. I had been wanting to make myself a felted piece that I could use when out and about. I was particularly happy with the complicated structure. It was felted all at once, with no sewing. It involved considerable forethought and several resists. There are two tab loops at the top, which allowed me at attach the leather strap with D-rings. Shown in the picture with fabric to highlight the openings, the main pouch is the entire shape and roomy size of the bag, while a smaller pocket on the front allows me to carry business cards. The flap is a beautiful way to finish off the bag. Yesterday I got to wear it for the first time - and for a special occasion too, my felting demo up at the League of NH Craftsmen gallery in Littleton, NH. The demonstration went well!

Kathleen H. Peters with her felted bag