Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Life Lessons from Craft

You could say that I am a serial craft addict. Ceramics, candle wicking, calligraphy, paper making, painting on wood and mosaic are just a few I've tackled. The only ones that I have been truly passionate about have been mosaic and for the last year,merino wool nuno felting for our own on-line store FELT 4U
This is where you can see and purchase our shibori dyed merino wool nuno felted scarves, wraps and hip wraps. They are all handmade by nuno felting merino wool onto hand dyed tissue silk.
I’ve often asked myself why mosaic and merino wool nuno felting have been such life enhancing experiences with none of the embarrassment and frustration that came with my attempts at other forms of craft. To be honest, my battered psyche was only saved by my mother who beamed with joy when receiving a lopsided coil pot or a birthday card with the greeting written in shaky calligraphic letters.
From the beginning of learning mosaic it all felt different. There were no stars in theclass whose work we had to measure ourselves against. No piece was ever deemed a failure and all had there own intrinsic beauty and personal signature.So too in merino wool nuno felting, every creation has originality and beauty. And unlike mosaic, its easy to just keep working and changing a piece if you don’t like the outcome.After a year, every merino wool nuno felted scarf that I make for FELT 4U still seems like a fun experiment and there are countless ways in which to evolve. Mosaic and merino wool nuno felting let you play with color and liberate us from the expected color combinations.One of my favorite mosaic pieces is a mirror in orange and turquoise. Likewise, a fuschia pink and orange merino wool nuno felted scarf brightens up my day when Iwear it. I think from craft, as in life, we learn that we have to find what suits our personalities,interests (merino wool nuno felted scarves taps into my love of fashion) and talents. Usually when you find your craft you also find that like minded people surround you and beautiful friendships are built (like with my two friends Audrey and Natalie – both professional mosaic artists) and now with my partner, Elaine who sees every item we lovingly produce “as a journey in itself.”
One other tip…doing what you love with great music in the background also helps (nothing like Mozart when you are rolling your merino wool nuno felted item for the 2000th time.)
Best wishes to you