Our guest artist/author today is Nada Vukadinovič (Halay) who has some exciting news about felting in the book publishing world.
The other day I visited a local exhibition in Mozirje, Slovenia, where a local felter, Spela Oresnik, displayed about 20 felted canvases. All had been made for a particular purpose, i.e. to serve as illustrations for the book entitled Gori doli sem in tja (Up and Down and Everywhere) written by Marta Oresnik. I found this approach very interesting. Usually a painter is engaged to make illustrations for a book but in this case a felter was invited to use wool to depict the scenes from the stories. She used local wool from the Solčava breed, which is a rather coarse wool, mainly used for making slippers, hats, bags, etc.
The book is an interesting collection of old anecdotes and folk stories which were passed from generation to generation, written in a dialect spoken in this region, e.g. someone meeting a devil, or death, dwarfs, Solcava in fire, witches everywhere, blueberry and strawberry etc . She used wet felting technique to do the background using local wool and needle felted 3D figures which were attached to the base. Only the coloured fibres were bought.
The collection of old stories was made as part of a national project. Here I need to mention that Slovenia is very small country in Central Europe with population of only 2 million people and a lot of effort is being put into preserving the language and culture. The size of Slovenia compares to the size of New Jersey, however, there are seven main dialects spoken and 49 sub-dialects. The dialect which is spoken in Solcava is spoken only by 500 people. This means that on a walking distance of one and a half hour one comes across another dialect.
The book has been published and includes a CD so you can listen to it in different dialects. You can learn more about the book here: http://www.mohorjeva.org/oresnik-marta/gori-doli-sem-in-tja There is a felted picture on the front page. The publisher was Mohorjeva družba (2013).
The Solčava felters to whom Špela Oresnik belongs, are organised in a local felters union, but I think I’ll leave it here for now and describe the felting scene in Slovenia in another post.
Thank you Nada for bringing this exciting new venue in book publishing to our attention.
What exciting things have you seen in the felting world lately?