Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thimbleberry Feltworks, Launched!

Yesterday evening I took BART under the bay (this always makes me marvel, to be tunneled under all that silt and water, where saber-toothed cats and mammoths once walked before the sea filled it in, only about 15,000 years ago) to Simon's mother's store, Kingdom of Herbs, in the San Francisco Ferry building, where we arranged my felt pieces, to be sold! And this morning, on the dawn of the summer solstice, I found the first ripe thimbleberries (that I've seen) of the summer-- perfect, bright red, delicious as sunsets. An auspicious start.

Here are photos from the shop. I plan next to make a series of animals instead of vegetables: fox, owl, whale, deer. I love the slow process of shaping a body with embroidery thread. You have to meditate on the forms and curves of an animal or vegetable to honor the spirit of the thing properly. It feels like a sort of small tribute. The process of felting itself involves a different kind of focus-- you have to let go of the shape YOU want the felt to make, and see what emerges, because each time, the way it interlocks and forms is different. Each piece of felt, when made by hand with soapy hot water and lots of hand-friction, is its own creature, with unpredictable edges.


Sweet pea



Landscape, pelt, whatever you like to see in it. I like that it resembles an animal skin. The vegetables are meant to be wall hangings, particularly in a kitchen. This one, however, could be any number of things-- for the wall, a large coaster to put under vases or bowls, a placemat (though you can't wash it in hot water or it will shrink).

I am going to create a separate page on the top right corner devoted to Thimbleberry Feltworks, with a little more information and a basic overview of how felt is made.

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