Friday, September 11, 2020

Felting Vessels :: Free Video Tutorials Coming Soon!

I just completed videotaping the making of this polka-dot bowl from start to finish — and will be editing the recording into shorter videos this weekend. This series of free demos will support my online workshop participants in their learning, as well as be available to any creatives who might benefit. I've learned so much from other artists; I'm excited to be able to give back. These video tutorials will be uploaded to my Youtube channel and I'll post the link here as soon as they're live.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Black Felted Wool Rabbit

Look who showed up in the field of rabbitbrush this morning! Specs: Exterior: Wet-felted wool; Interior: Local Pima cotton, silk, and river stones. 28" (h) x 7.5" (w).

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Rabbits are Multiplying!

Two new rabbits join the fluffle this week (the grey rabbits with blue and gold polka dots depicted above). The grey base fiber is a Shetland wool roving from Outback Fibers. This wool takes a bit more muscle to felt than the brown mixed breed fiber (R.H. Lindsay), but the color is gorgeous and worth the effort. Rabbit sculpture specs: Exterior: Wet-felted wool; Interior: Local Pima cotton, silk, and river stones. 28" (h; to top of ear) x 7"-7.5" (w).

Saturday, August 29, 2020

What's Inside Rabbit?

I'm often asked what I use to stuff my soft sculptures and why they are heavier than expected. Well, years ago I was gifted with a huge "marketing sample" of processed Pima cotton from a gin in Yuma, Arizona. While the fibers were too short for a novice spinner like me to spin, I saved this generous gift knowing that it would be useful some day. For the past few years, I've been able to use this lovely cotton to stuff all of my wool sculptures. To weight my Rabbit sculptures, so they sit up tall and have a nice heft, I use a hand-sewn silk bag of small river stones. After inserting the bag of stones inside the sculpture, I stitch the bottom closed with wool thread, and sew on a label. My hope is that buyers appreciate all the handwork and the natural materials used in each piece.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Audio Description of "Sacred Landscape" Series

I was delighted to have this work included in the Hunterdon Art Museum's show entitled, Explorations in Felt. After being extended due to the pandemic, the show has finally come to a close and my work is on its way home. The notice from the Museum reminded me that I forgot to post my audio description of the piece from the show.... so, I'm posting it now for posterity :) 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Felting in the Studio

Making making in the studio this past week... felted rabbits and talismans. Thought it might be nice to share some work-in-progress pics. My plan is to create some online workshops in the near future, so photographing some step-by-step process pics helps me think more linearly too. (Photos, top to bottom: Felting rabbit head shaped around a resist; wetting down the loose fibers; dry fibers laid down and felted dreadlocks for talisman; checking rabbit ear to ensure strong enough to remove resist; final felted rabbits, stuffed with Pima cotton and weighted with a silk, hand-sewn bag of river stones.)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Talismans :: Felted Wool Sculpture

More felted Talismans join the fold. Felted Sculptures (Untitled). Exterior: Wet-felted wool; interior: local Pima cotton, netting, and river stones or glass beads. ~21-23.5" (h) x ~7-7.5" (w).

Monday, July 20, 2020

Earth, Water, Fire :: Felted Wool Sculptures

Completed this woolly trio, inspired by the elements, this morning. I duplicated the original study (the white polka dotted piece in earlier blog post) and added white wool to the tips of the dreadlocks in this newer version. The tree-like piece was the most challenging with its tapering vertical stripes; they needed lots of tending to in order to keep them straight-ish during the felting process. I am pleased with how nicely they play together as a trio, but not yet sure if I'll try scaling them up. Exterior: 100% wet-felted wool; interior: local Pima cotton, netting, and river stones or glass beads. ~20-23" (h) x ~7-7.5" (w)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Talisman :: Felted Sculpture

The house is filling up with my felted wool Sentinels and Talismans, and we may soon run out of space to store them :) I suppose this work is in response to the pandemic, and the desire to create strong (and sometimes quirky) protective "dieties" for the world. I will continue to explore these themes in the studio and see where things go. Wishing you all strength, protection, and hearts full of hope and joy.

Talisman I (felted wool sculpture), exterior: wet-felted wool; interior: pima cotton, glass beads, netting, 23" (h) x 6" (w).

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sentinel with Crescent Moon

Completed another small (26" ht.) "Sentinel" last night — with crescent moon. Love the mixed-breed dark grey wool (from R.H. Lindsay) — it smelled very animal-ly while wet and contains a fair bit of vegetal matter :) This series of felted sculptures consist of 100% felted wool forms with glazed and fired clay bases

Monday, May 18, 2020

Felted Sculpture :: Developing New Series

Some snaps of work I'm continuing to develop that I started creating while in Mendocino. Working title of series is, "Sentinels" — guardians, watching over us; which seems especially comforting now during this global pandemic. I'm also exploring the phases of the moon; tethered as it is to our planet and to our individual bodies. Photos: The large sculpture is 43.5" (h) and the small one is 23.5" (h); both consist of hand-felted wool hollow forms, with concave (closed) tops; bases are either fired/glazed clay or painted terracotta. #wildlywoolly #feltedsculpture #feltedwool

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Residency in Mendocino, CA

Botanical Vessels using Pre-Felts :: Felting Workshop with Kim Buchheit
Fiber artist Kim Buchheit in her studio at Mendocino Art Center. Photo © Linda Cloonan
Boy, time sure does fly! I'm just now getting around to posting some of the pics from the 4 weeks I spent in glorious Mendocino (at the Mendocino Art Center, MAC) during an artist residency this past February. It was such a gift to be able to have a beautiful, huge, well-lit (with a view of the ocean!), and well-appointed (thanks to the wonderful Linda Cloonan) fiber studio all to myself, 24/7. My time on the headlands allowed me to begin a new body of work combining clay and fiber, which I'm currently scaling up in my studio. It truly was heaven on earth. Artist residencies are incredibly valuable, and possibly necessary, in order to have uninterrupted time to bring ideas to fruition. Also, I met some amazing people — fellow artists, Art Center staff, locals/neighbors, and workshop attendees. The opportunity to teach a Botanical Vessels using Pre-Felts class was a bonus. Thank you to all the people at MAC for this incredible opportunity and for your deep commitment to artists and art making. I hope to teach another workshop at MAC in 2021, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2020 Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat

2020 AFAR Workshop: (back row) Colleen Murphy, Sharla Peterson, Louise Love, Maona Grabscheid, Kathy Lohr, Joanne Nunn, Patti Dowd; (front row) Mali Pistiner, Kim Buchheit, Karen Billideau (not pictured: Gayle Starr and Shannan Cambern)

Last week's 9th annual Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat (AFAR) was a fantastic success. This event, hosted by the talented and generous Kimberly Hatch, brings together fiber lovers of all stripes to share ideas, learn, discover new tools and methods, purchase fiber and other goodies, and enjoy being with kindred spirits. I was honored to be able to teach (with the help of my ever-supportive hubby) a full-day workshop with an amazing group of students. We cut out botanical shapes from pre-felts (ala Matisse) and felted them into our vessels with great results. Every finished vessel was unique and lovely — just like each workshop participant. Thank you to all who attended my workshop and for all who make AFAR the incredible fiber event that it is! See you next year (Save the date: Jan. 13-16, 2021) :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Installation Pics from "Explorations in Fiber"

Sacred Landscape XI: 26.5" (w) x 62" (h): Wet-felted Merino Wool: © Kim Buchheit, 2018
Sacred Landscape XI: 26.5" (w) x 62" (h): Wet-felted Merino Wool: © Kim Buchheit, 2018
Some installation snaps from the Hunterdon Art Museum's, Explorations in Felt which opened this past weekend. (Photos courtesy of the Hunterdon Art Museum). So honored and grateful to have one of my Sacred Landscape pieces hanging alongside works by some of my favorite fiber artists!