Our guest artist today is Jill Chadek with Merino and Mulberry in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. She is also our banner sponsor for May on the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum.
To touch something soft and silky awakens our earliest emotions!
The pleasure of the touch of silk started my exploration of silk painting. A few
years later I was introduced to felting, that magical process of transforming
dampened clumps of wool fibers into cloth! Then, when I discovered that I
could incorporate the two, working the fibers to lock into the silk I was hooked!
Through time, that magical process of felting has inspired and allowed me to
express my passion for color, pattern and texture. Felting, allows me to “paint”
with fibers to create personal accessories such as scarves, shawls, vest, hats
Prior to felting I had dabbled in many mediums but none have held my
attention and interest like felting has. I love working with my hands, the tactile
experience of painting with the fine and silky fibers. It still makes me catch my
breath when I wet the fibers down and the wool gets all loose feeling. I have to
remind myself that soon the fibers will start to migrate and tangle and the
magic of creating a fabric will happen right in my hands!
If you are new to felting, have patience and have fun! It will be frustrating at
times! There are as many different ways to create felt as there are felters, and
you will find that everyone swears their way is best! So many variables are at
play: the type of fibers, water hardness and temperature, soap, pressure,
thickness, and added embellishments, just to name a few. No wonder no simple
equation will work! It is only through exploration and experience that you will
learn the “feel” of the fibers at the different stages. So have fun and play!
Though I consciously have a design in mind when I start a project, my
unconscious, and the fibers influence my hands and the final outcome, which is
I enjoy that even after all of my years as a felting artist there is still something
new to learn and to explore. Right now I am loving creating hats! I do not use
any hat forms but instead let each hat tell me what shape it would like to be. I
love that while making a fashion statement they are also keeping it’s wearer
cozy warm! I am truly grateful for the joy that I experience in the creation of
each item and trust that wonderful emotions are also awakened in the wearer.
Please feel free to browse my website www.merinoandmulberry.com. It is my hope
that my creations will inspire you to stretch and grow as a felting artist. Also on
my website you can view a video of me using the E-Z Roller Felting Machine of
which I am the international representative. This machine has allowed me to
continue felting when I was experiencing terrible vertigo and more recently
when I had shoulder and neck problems. It removes the 1 negative of felting –
the physical chore of rolling your project, therefore allowing you to focus on the
fun, creative aspect of this beautiful medium. If you would like to learn more,
just contact me!
Thanks for sharing your artist journey with us Jill!