Monday, June 28, 2010

What makes felt so fascinating, so fabulous, so addictive?


I've been thinking a good bit about my love affair with felt, nearly a 10 year passion and journey. As I am looking forward, and knowing full well, that I'll no longer be able to spend the amount of time with the beloved wool as I have in the past.

About 7pm last night I decided I wanted to make a felt hat. Hadn't made one in a long while so decided to do it. Dishes were done, the house was quiet, it would be good to get my hands back on the wool. I selected the resist, the fibers, the colors, the surface stuffs and poured a small glass of wine. So began the hat making of last night. (Wine is not the usual part of it for me...it just was last night.)

All the while, I kept thinking about going back to nursing, being away from home 8-10 hours a day, having to give up the fiber art shows, and the loss of personal independence. After running my own business for 10 years, going to work for someone else might be a difficult transition. But things are what they are. I live in Michigan. Our economy is awful. I have skills that can bring in much more money that fiber art (nearly anything would do that!)


What about the fiber am I going to miss the most?
I think it comes to this; I am going to miss the continual fascination of being a part of creating felt, watching the fibers come together, the fluidity of the fibers melting into each other, forming structure, taking form, transforming from individual fibers into single fabric. It is just such fabulous stuff, it's just so fascinating to feel it happen. I will miss the daily dose of making felt. Felt is my addiction, and I am not ashamed.

There is also the loss of personal goals. I have long wanted to be a really good felt maker. That takes time and practice, successes and failures, experimentation, understanding, tactile knowledge, something almost visceral. There are too many ideas in my head that I wanted to get out on felt. Making felt is what I want to do the rest of my life. These are goals I have to release.

I've been in denial, experienced anger, tried to bargain, certainly experienced depression, and at long last, have come to some level of acceptance that life is going to change. I can either whine and complain about it or get on board for the changes that God has provided for me.

It will be several months before all of these changes come about, so for now, I am going to enjoy the incredible, fascinating, fabulous gift and challenge that we call Felt!

12 comments:

Charlotte said...

I can relate to this post! After not doing any felt making since leaving college nearly 6 years ago now, I am just getting back into it. I too am becoming more and more obsessed and addicted to it like yourself, and don't have enough hours in the day or week to even start thinking about all my ideas. I work full time and only really get to do serious craft and felting projects at weekends. I work as a teaching assistant, and yes, I do finish work early and have no work to take home with me like I did when I was actually teaching, but I'm usually too shattered after a full day with children to get the felting stuff out. But, when I do, it's great.
I would love to just make felt all day, every day. It's so comforting, relaxing and theraputic, and I ,ove working with all the different colours you can get.
Now that I am becoming a bit fed up with my job and feel it's time to move on, there may be a big change on the way sometime next year which means I might not have time to pursue all my ideas, which is not a great thought, but I can't let it stop me.
The answer I think is to religiously dedicate a certain amount of time during the week to do felting, and do it no matter what! It's always something to look forward to!

Hooked On Felt said...

Charlotte,
Making a specific time to make felt might be the answer. I don't even gt to read blogs anymore. It's been months now since I've had time to check in on some of my faves!

Working with children, as with the ill, take a lot of creative energy. I recall being exhausted 15 years ago after work, I can only imagine the fatigue on this aging mind and body.

We'll have to make felt dates! and encourage each other!

Shalana, the funky felter said...

I can sympathize with both you and Charlotte. On one hand, my life is consumed by taking care of my 11 month old. On the other hand, I'll be starting Graduate school classes this coming Fall. It does not leave a lot of time for feltmaking endeavors. I too would love to become a great feltmaker and know that takes so much time and dedication - neither of which I can spare right now because my time and dedication are devoted to other things. They are other things that I love though so it makes it easier in many ways to give up professional feltmaking endeavors for a while. I do however really miss my time felting with my hand wet and soapy gliding over the wool fibers. There is something very calming about it and centering. I miss that! I have resolved that I will have a season again to felt with dedication although it may be down the road for me a ways. My true artistic love will always be feltmaking I believe.

And, you are already a truly grand feltmaker - you have inspired me with your creations too many times to count!

Happy felting :)

Hooked On Felt said...

Shalana Dear,
The time you spend with your beautiful child, oh what treasured time, what fleeting time. Frankly,if I had a child under the age of three in my home, I can't imagine even thinking about felt. For me, that would be two separate parts of my heart at total conflict. When the little ones are about, I really just want to play.
If you too have to delay your felt making for Mom/school duties, we'll just have to share what we do get accomplished, when we accomplish it. Right?
Hugs and hugs and hugs

carolina said...

Yyo que recien me adentro en éste mundo tan maravilloso me siento como la primera vez que me enamoré esto es pura adrenalina,deja fluir lo más bello que uno se puede imaginar y la mente está alerta a todo viendo en cada objeto o momento como plasmarlo en el fieltro.Estoy enamorada con el fieltro y ustedes son mis musas inspiradoras !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hooked On Felt said...

Sweet Carolina,
I had to use a translator to read your words and I am humbled and weeping. You have blessed me deeply with your words.
Shalom and Blessings to you

Heather said...

Reading your sweet and sad post today made me feel so many feelings. Most importantly, I'm happy that you have the training and opportunity to find a position which will keep you and your family healthy and whole, financially. This is a great blessing.
I am also thinking along the lines of 'the flow of life', and 'seasons for all things'. Certainly, the challenge of this new job and schedule will slow your felting down a bit at first...but I feel certain that you will find a way to fit it in again before long...
and maybe the new time constraints will energize a new kind of creative direction in your work!?!?!
Lastly, I'm wondering whether you could someday endeavor to find a weekend nursing job or a night job with fewer hours worked per week? This would certainly leave you more time for your great love.
My warm thoughts are with you now. Best wishes, always!

Trudis Felt said...

Hello Suzanne,
Changes, we all have to make them now and then. Sometimes it is necessary to grow. I'm studying now and have to follow a strict plan will I have time for my felting. If you are really want to do something... you can. Just start believing that you can.
I wish you all the best and for me you are already a grand feltmaker!
Love from Trudis

Barbara Marr said...

You are a strong and creative woman, no none of us are superwoman but it will work out. Patience for the new schedule to settle in and you will find time for your felt making. You are meant to do it.

Cameron said...

About a week ago my husband and I were talking about a conversation we had 5 years before I retired. I was stressed, ready then to walk away from my job. My husband said that the next 5 years would fly by, and to just hang in there. I did stay with it and those were the best 5 years of my "working career." The conversation that we had a week ago was 5 years after my retirement date. I mention this only to say that life goes by so quickly no matter what we are doing. We have to squeeze out of it every moment of worth that we can.

Hooked On Felt said...

You are all wonderful with your words of encouragement. Perhaps it isn't just the felt making that I'll miss...it is the wonderful exchange of folks like you who add a great deal to my days. Thank you all so much.
From my heart to yours,
Suzanne

Cameron said...

So okay already, don't give up your blog!!! Love ya...