I want to include here the travelling exhibition that resulted from Fibre Content.  See my home page for details.

I did not blog as I worked on this piece, thinking at the time it was a worthy statement.  The printing was too dark and the composition not impressive.  However, with some chopping, rearranging, highlighting and inclusion of research into the hydrangea, I ended up with this result.

What does it say?  It is a jumble of research and personal information – as life is!

Hydrangeas connect my past and present; brought to Europe in seventeen thirty six, sailed over water; Asias, N. America; like porous soil; Japanese macrophylla; leaves roots flowers, antimalerial, diruretic, antitussive cough; antihaemorrhagic; peegee contain rutin; leaves of lacecaps are sweet, water to drink, hydor; pink, red, white, blue; flower power, paniculata; angos means vessel; alkaline for pink and red; sweet leaves; Annabelle from Americas; Hydrangeaeae; hydor, acqua vita, drink; morning sun; afternoon shade; absorb aluminum; acid soil for blue

My title, Clouded Heads, is both literal and metaphoric.  For me the piece represents a group of people, huddled and protective.  In my sequel to this work, I will tell you the endearing story of the Annabelle hydrangea.

Over the last few months I have been exploring fibres using the technique of needle felting. Unlike the conventional “wet felting” this method uses a selection of specially designed needles to push various fibres into a soft backing. Once there, they are locked in place and further layers can be added to create various effects in 2 or 3 dimensions.

Here is a quick demo. and look at some recent pieces.


I had many of the silk and wool fibres on hand; however I purchased a wider selection from The Fibre Garden in Jordan Village. If you haven’t discovered this wonderful resource, it’s worth checking out for yourself. I also found a wonderful tool made by Clover, that uses 5 replaceable needles set into a handle which has a spring-loaded action. This is what I use for “tacking” the fibres once they are laid on the support surface. Here I have used cotton quilt batting; however, I have more recently been using the wool support which is much looser and specially designed for this purpose. It’s kinder on the needles, and my neck muscles.

From the initial laying in of wool which enables a better felting effect, details are added using silk fibre and remnants of handspun yarns which I just happened to have on hand as well. What an exciting way to use up boxes of supplies which I had from former endeavours as a hand spinner. I use individual needles to delineate and adhere the spun fibres/yarns.

The final work is one of 10 which found their way to RiverBrink Art Museum’s gift shop where they retail for $85. Each measures approximately 6 x 6 inches. There are approximately 3 hours of work involved and each is finished so that it can stand on a flat surface or be can be hung from a small nail or hook.

My new summer series involves winter wheat and hay fields in the Pelham and nearby area. I have incorporated hemp and flax fibres to build up rich textures in the foreground. Stay posted as I work on this large 16-section piece. Each image is approximately 12 x 12 inches.

I had a sample of my original Oak and Birch photograph printed some time ago.  While I waited for the large piece to arrive, I decided to start working it up.  The colours are just what we need at this rather dull time of year.

I will take photographs tomorrow of the dynamic piece that arrived today!

Meantime, here is the original photograph.