From Craft to Art

by | Feb 2, 2022 | Uncategorized

Maggie’s felted picture

This scene of a country landscape was “painted” with wool.  It has a quiet peaceful feeling reminiscent of a lazy summer with bees buzzing in a meadow and a cozy shelter in the distance. 

flowers in felt

The picture of flowers starts with a base of wet felted wool then layers are added with needle felting and finally hand stitching for embellishment.  At first glance the felted pieces may resemble tapestries.

The idea of “craft” usually involves creating something that has a practical purpose.  While the item may be visually pleasing or decorative the function drives the design.  A garden scene may inspire the colour pallet for a tea towel but the function, drying dishes, determines the size, shape and materials.  On the other hand we think of “art” as creating solely for the purpose of expressing an idea or telling a story like Maggie’s felted pictures.

As artisans, our creative urge is often tempered by our practical side.  Sometimes it can be rejuvinating to throw “practical” out the window and just concentrate on pure expression.  Think how you might use your skill with fibre to tell a story.

Saori inspired hanging

Perhaps the yarns themselves will lead the way to a textured wall hanging like the one in the photograph.  The hanging invites the viewer to come closer and explore the subtle colour variations.  

ode to dead crow
You may use a mix of fibres and natural materials to tell a story.  The central piece in the photo above is a woven felted bag that was embellished with feathers and beads to represent a crow.

weighted warp hanging

The weighted warp hanging is made from a cedar and wool yarn.  The wool fleece was spin around a thin strip of cedar bark.  The hanging has an organic branch motif that starts with a real branch at the top.  It was created using a twining technique.  This large piece makes a dramatic statement.  It is reminiscent of the 70’s when large scale weavings were used to soften the concrete and glass environment of large commercial buildings.  The techniques used to create this piece are ancient.

Sheila’s shooting star

A woven transparency is another form that can be used to express an idea.
Transparencies are a special form of tapestry that uses positive and negative spaces.  They are airy creations that are often hung in windows or used in large open spaces to delineate areas or humanize the scale of a large space.
They are usually woven using inlay techniques on an open linen background.  The background and inlay work are woven simultaneously.

flower in window

The transparency with the flower motif is shown hanging in a window.  They can be used in much the same way as a stained glass hanging to obscure a view while allowing light in.
If you think you might like to learn more about transparencies then check out our workshop listingLinda Wilson will be giving an on-line workshop on the subject starting April 5th, 2022.

So, take a break from the practical, try creating an art piece just for the sake of telling a story or expressing an emotion.  Hang it on a wall or in a window and enjoy. 

      

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