Wednesday, March 7, 2018

FWFF's Workshops Posted Today!

Flag Wool & Fiber Festival (booths)
Flag Wool & Fiber Festival (alpaca)
Flag Wool & Fiber Festival is an early summer event that fiber lovers and other creatives look forward to year after year. Now in its 26th season and under the dynamic leadership of Andrea Greene, this event offers "free family fun with something for everyone" including a host of fiber-related workshops which just went live today. Check out the complete class listing here and sign up today to secure your spot. (Note: I'll be teaching my Vessels & Votives felting class on Saturday morning). Event is June 2-3, 2018, 9am-4pm, ​at the Pioneer Museum on Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff, AZ.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Embellished Felted Vessel

Embellished wet-felted bowl.
Using trimmings from a larger project, I embellished a small, felted bowl by needle-felting the wet-felted remnants all around the outside. The finished piece somewhat resembles a cabbage — which made me smile while photographing it during a fresh snowfall this afternoon.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sacred Landscape Series

Felted wall hanging © Kim Buchheit, 17"x 39.5"; 100% wool
I just completed another felted wall hanging for inclusion in my Sacred Landscape Series. Here's a close-up photo showing some of the textures and color gradations. One of the things I love about using pre-felt as a substrate is how those solid-colored base fibers migrate up through the top layers to create a tonal "glazing" effect. On this particular piece, the top layers are cut through in one area to reveal a "river" of turquoise blue below... a tribute to some of Grand Canyon's waterways (e.g. the Little Colorado River and Havasu Creek). Detail of felted wall hanging; 17"x 39.5"; 100% wool; © Kim Buchheit

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 Nuno-Felting Workshop at the Grand Canyon

We just wrapped up an incredible weekend of nuno-felting and dyeing at the Grand Canyon! Workshop participants really pushed themselves, outlining challenging design projects on day two with fabulous results. Special guest Mary Rooney showed everyone how to use acid dyes to color their wool and silk fiber in preparation for the class's second project. If you're interested in coming to the canyon next year, please join us for a Felting Vessels course. Details on Grand Canyon Association Field Institute's website.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Nuno-felted Striped Scarves using Tape Resist

This weekend I'll be teaching a nuno-felted workshop at Grand Canyon National Park (hosted by Grand Canyon Association Field Institute). We'll be making airy silk and wool scarves and durable purses/tech cases during this two-day course. In preparation, I experimented with using masking tape as a resist. It was just one of those wild-hair ideas and I truly wasn't expecting the tape to stay in place during the wet felting stage, but it did (!) and I was so tickled about that. This striped scarf design requires very little fiber and, by exposing the silk in between, showcases the lovely silk chiffon while creating a beautiful sculptural fabric. Both samples were made using creamy white Merino wool roving and silk. Once felted and dried, I dyed one sample scarf using Lansaset dyes from Dharma Trading. I'm looking forward to sharing this new technique with my students in a few days. And, btw, if you're in the area, call (866) 471-4435 to see if there's still space available... we'd love to have you join us!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat (Workshops)

Felted luminaria with feather trim by Kim Buchheit
Felted vessels using resists by Kim Buchheit
Feather-trimmed felted vessel by Kim Buchheit
2018 Fiber Workshops: Sign-ups begin today for Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat held in January, 2018. You won't want to miss this fun, fiber-filled weekend hosted at the Prescott Resort, in Prescott, AZ. On Saturday, Jan. 20th, I'll be teaching two half-day workshops on wet-felting vessels. Participants will make small wool bowls or luminaria using resists — and learn everything necessary to confidently create more felted 3D pieces at home. Enroll early as space is limited... and because, come winter, there's no better place to be than sunny Arizona!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Window Shopping

West of the Moon Gallery in historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona continues to be one of the most respected galleries in town since opening its doors in 2000. So I was thrilled when gallerist Carolyn Young offered to showcase my felted pods in her gallery window this past month. It is an honor to have my wool sculpture hanging next to the work of such amazing artists as Shonto Begay, Connie Townsend, Sarah Yeoman, Raina Gentry, and others! If you're in the area, you'll want to spend some quality time in this very special gallery!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Flag Wool & Fiber Festival :: 2017

smiling alpaca
nuno-felting demo; Kim Buchheit, Flag Wool & Fiber Festival 2017
Andrea Greene and company
nuno-felting demo; Kim Buchheit, Flag Wool & Fiber Festival 2017
adorable alpaca
some booths at Flag Wool & Fiber Festival (2017)
My felting assistant (Libby) and I enjoyed giving a felting demo yesterday at Flag Wool & Fiber Festival. Lots of great questions from the audience as well as interest in our fall workshop at the Grand Canyon. The festival keeps growing and getting richer and more exciting under the visionary leadership of Andrea Greene (of Spinup Yarns) and her impressive team. Thanks for all who came out this weekend to support the fiber arts, crafts, and traditions in the Southwest!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

New Felted Work :: Botanical Series

I just completed another piece in my "Botanical" series utilizing pre-felts. It's really fun to work with pre-felts as one can achieve an almost cut-paper-like design (ala Matisse!). With this botanical series, I like to work spontaneously laying down the cut-outs as I make them. However, I have also sketched out in advance ideas for other pieces and, while some details are blurred and/or lost, it's amazing how much the final felted work resembles the pencil skecth. I'll try posting samples of that soon so you can judge for yourselves. Cheers!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Nuno-Felting Demo & Workshop :: 2017

Dear Fiber Friends, I want to announce two upcoming nuno-felting events as follows:
1. FREE nuno-felting demo at Flag Wool & Fiber Festival in Flagstaff, AZ (Sat., June 3, 2017; 10 a.m.). Details here.
2. Weekend nuno-felting workshop at the Grand Canyon this fall (Oct. 7-8 , 2017). More info and sign-up here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hanging Small Felted Textiles

hanging tabs and artist label
how to hang textiles
textile art lies flush with wall
It can be challenging to hang textiles in a way that is unobtrusive, conforms to conservation standards and is easy for the typical gallery customer to install when they take the artwork home. This week I tried many different methods before coming up with this simple and very satisfactory solution for hanging a series of 9x20-inch pieces. I cut a tab out of machine felt (100% wool) and hand-stitched it high on the piece using wool thread. I also put a small grommet in the tab for aesthetic reasons and to protect the hole's die cut edges — this was a small but acceptable compromise, in my opinion. Conservationists work hard not to compromise the integrity of museum-quality textiles when making display decisions — but it seems there is always some threat to integrity involved. The same applies with the work I did on my pieces where I picked up a small amount of the felted work with every stitch being careful not to allow the needle to pierce through to the front of the artwork. By making several blanket stitches around the tab, the tension was dispersed and any potential damage from gravity over time greatly minimized. Felt is also less negatively affected by needle pricks than are threads of woven fabrics. Overall, I was pleased with the hanging "hardware's" minimal impact on the artwork and, perhaps more importantly, the way the artwork lies flush with the wall.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Migration Project

Felted Wool Sculpture by Kim Buchheit
Felted Wool Sculpture (detail) by Kim Buchheit
This winter I am developing an exhibit which addresses immigration issues, oppression and silencing, borders and arbitrary boundaries, migration routes, and allowing and trusting in natural processes. This most recent piece is an 18" x 10" sculpture which will eventually be erected via wire or starch and finished with embroidered lettering on the back side. I'm carding all the wool fibers by hand in order to blend the roving and yield very subtle color shifts. More to come :)