Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet Music & Stories for Penguins*

This little fiddler is another piece that will be on display at the JCC for the next three months. I love violin music, or fiddle music if you are a bluegrass lover like me, and in particular, Norman and Nancy Blake's "Cairo Waltz".  That sweet song was running through my head as I created this little fellow.

*There is a disclaimer that goes along with this piece and that is that Emperor penguins live in Antarctica and not where people would normally be found. So I am taking my artistic license firmly in hand and putting these two together in this scene.

New Work for JCC Display: Flight of Fancy

This is one of several pieces that will be on display at the Jewish Community Center in Niskayuna, NY from November through January. The inspiration for these pieces were the children that go there for daycare and preschool. Reading about the declining creativity in our children (if we can believe everything we read) I thought about all the neat things kids can do that a) don't cost anything and b) get kids into that "state of bliss" and help them cope with whatever is going on in their world.

This piece hangs suspended in flight, her hands clutching two feathers, her eyes closed in the wonderful feeling of flying like a bird.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shaman Dance II

This figure was inspired by a big barred owl that swooped in last winter and paid me a visit.  This figure wears a woven and fulled garment made of wool roving and yarn. Around his neck he wears an amulet of amber, black quartz and a pheasant feather.  He measures 12" x 15" x 6".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caballo del Fuego

My lifelong love of horses inspired this piece and several others. It is 18" tall on a 4" x 4" wood base. The head is sculpted from paperclay and painted with acrylics and oils. The mane is raw Shetland sheep wool from a sheep named Pogo! The body is wet felted over a fiberfill core on a steel rod.  
 Thank you to my daughter, my Spanish language consultant, for translating "Horse of Fire" into the beautiful "Caballo del Fuego" and to Vincent Giordano of Trinacria Photography for the great photos.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

First Snow

 "First Snow" was inspired by my daughter's habit of breaking into a spontaneous dance when the first snow fell each year. She started doing it when she was a very little girl and continued it for many years.  It didn't matter if we were out in the yard or in a parking lot, when those first flakes fell she would start dancing. It was a great reminder that despite the coming of winter and all it entailed snow is, and always will be, beautiful and something to celebrate.
"First Snow" is 24" x 16" x 6".  She wears a knitted sweater, scarf and hat and stands on an oak cabinet that holds a trio of chickadees perched on birch twigs.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Demeter: Life is Sweet

This piece was inspired by the story of the Earth Mother Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Persephone's return to earth from the Underworld every spring brings joy to her mother and causes Demeter to shed her garments of winter and mourning and return the earth to growth and abundance.
Demeter wears a coat knit of mohair and hand stitched pants of dupioni silk. She cradles a bouquet of hand felted flowers in her arms. She is approximately 20" tall and hangs on the wall.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shaman Dance I

This figure wears a garment of rya woven Lincoln/Romney locks and handspun wool that was fulled after it was woven. He wears a bead and feather amulet and holds birch branches.He is 19" tall and stands on a 6" x 6" oak base.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Frytha and the Snow Goose

This piece was inspired by Paul Gallico's wonderful story The Snow Goose. The figure is 18" tall and she wears a felted beret, a knit sweater and boots. She cradles the felted Snow Goose in her arms.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Work for Next Month's Show

This is a new piece for the show next month at The Sow's Ear Studio and Gallery.  It was inspired by my lifelong love of horses and the sky.  It is 19" tall and has a clay head with a felted body.  The hair is angora goat hair from the Big Sky country, Montana.  I am calling it "Caballo de Cielo" which translates to either Horse of Sky or Horse of Heaven as Cielo can mean either sky of heaven. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five Guys & The Medicine Tree: Felix, Francisco, Fletcher, Fernando & Jake

These five figures are each about 12" tall and wear hand felted hats and knitted jackets. The medicine tree was inspired by the real Medicine Tree in Montana that was a stop for Native American travellers and people like myself who would stop there and leave offerings and 
prayers for safe travel on their journey. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

For Pele: Playing With Fire

This is my homage to the Hawaiian Goddess Pele who lives in the volcano Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. I lived in Hawaii when I was a little girl and seeing Kilauea and hearing about Pele made a lasting impression on me. This figure is approximately 30" tall and she wears bracelets and anklets made from lava and a necklace made from lava and coral beads. Coral is one of the first things to grow on new lava reefs so the lava and coral represent the hand in hand relationship of destruction and creation.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Solace of Trees I & II

These are two pieces from my current show at the Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge, New York.  They are inspired by my love of trees and are a celebration of the comfort they can provide.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sneak Preview of New Work for Show

Here's a sneak peek at one of the pieces for my show that opens this Friday. She's wearing a felted hat, knit jacket, silk pants, and a rose quartz amulet.  She is 12" high from the top of her hat to the back of her torso. I will be posting more photos of the new work after the show opens.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Work for This Month's Show

The studio is a full of new characters waiting to make their big debut at the show at the Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge, NY. The show opens on June 25 with a reception on Saturday, June 26th.
This fellow is wearing a felted robe made from merino roving and silk.  He  is wearing a turquoise amulet and holds his hands in a prayerful attitude.   He is made to hang on the wall and inspires an atmosphere of serenity and gratitude.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Studio in Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studios Magazine

Thank you to Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine for including my studio in their Summer 2010 issue. It goes on the newsstands today. My dear friend and fellow artist, Risa Tritabaugh, is also featured. Here are some additional photos from the photo shoot including Tess (the Wonder Dog, who makes sure I am always working whether it's sculpting or throwing a tennis ball), some of my inspirational and friendly figures and artwork, and a few of my many visual notebooks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Willow Dance

This figure measures 20" x 29" and was inspired by the trees surrounding our home in the woods, in particular the graceful branches of the willow trees.    Her jacket is woven using the rya technique and incorporates strips of silk, tulle, organza and yarn.  She will be exhibited at my show at the Small Gallery at Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge, New York next month. Thanks to Vin and Fran Giordano of Trinacria Photography for the great photos.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moon Dance

This figure of a dancing moon in a field of stars and night sky was partly inspired by the idea of "hands like stars" which was something a dear friend of my mother's used to say about babies' hands (you have to imagine it being said with a lovely British accent.) The garment is made of felted wool on hand dyed silk. Thank you to Deborah Pope, a wonderful artist and instructor, who taught me how to felt last summer. You can read more about her and her classes at

Friday, April 30, 2010

Adele's New Dress

This is a special figure as the skirt she wears is made from my mother's wedding dress. The beautiful original dress was worn by my mother, a dear friend of hers, and both of my sisters- in- law.  Unfortunately, the last person to wear it altered it in such a way that destroyed the original integrity of the dress and so it came to me from my mother with the hopes that I could salvage something of its original beauty. The dress originally had many tiny satin and lace covered buttons running down the back of the bodice. Those were used on the front of the sweater jacket.  The original heavy satin, tulle and lace overlays that make up the skirt mimic the design of the original dress. As my mother is named Adele it seemed only fitting to name this piece after her. 


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Waiting for Sunrise

"Waiting for Sunrise" stands waiting for the first light of the morning. She is wrapped in a knitted robe and has her eyes close in anticipation of feeling the warmth of the sun on her face.  She was inspired by the beautiful sunrises I see from my home in the woods.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Calling the Crows Home

"Calling the Crows Home" was inspired by the crows that make their homes in the pines in the woods I live in. The nest inside the base is a scale replica of a crow's nest and contains three replica crow's eggs. She is over three feet tall. This piece is in a private collection.

These photos were taken by Robert Batey of Robert Batey Photography.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Girl With the Ginger Hair

Thank you to Robert Batey of Robert Batey Photography for these top two photos. This girl was inspired by a little blue doll dress of my mother's and a photo of my paternal grandmother. She stands on a pedestal made from old porch posts and barnwood.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dancing With Blue Heron

This piece was inspired by the blue heron that visits our pond. The heron's graceful takeoff reminded me of Tai Chi movements.
I wove a selection of fabric and yarn using a rya technique for the body of the garment and knitted the sleeves. The pants are silk and there is a necklace of moonstones around the figure's neck.
This piece was exhibited in the "At Play" exhibit at the Small Gallery of the Valley Artisans Market in Cambridge, NY. It is now in a private collection.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Listening to Red Bird

This piece was exhibited in "A Common Thread",an exhibit at the Textile Center of Minnesota in 2009, and is now in a private collection.  Its garment is woven using the rya technique, a weaving technique developed by the Vikings who were inspired by the rugs they brought back from their expeditions to the Middle East. This figure has a linen "skin" over a batting wrapped wire armature and wears pants of dupioni silk.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mukti: Freedom

In an interview on NPR with Melissa Block, photographer Helen Levitt echoed my feelings about trying to talk about my work. Ms. Levitt said "If it were easy to talk about, I'd be a writer." "Since I'm inarticulate, I express myself with images."

So I will start with an image of a piece I did in 2008 for the Textile Center of Minnesota's exhibit "Freedom: The Fiber of Our Nation" which ran from August-October that year. The piece is titled "Mukti" which is Sanskrit for the freedom that is experienced when we finally shed all of our attachments to the earthly life and are released from the cycle of suffering, birth and rebirth. I was partly inspired by time I spent in Sri Lanka and India, and by Hindu and Buddhist beliefs .

I sculpted the head, hands and feet of paperclay on a wire armature and covered the armature with batting and a hand stitched burlap "skin." I covered the paperclay with several layers of gesso, acrylic and oil paints and sealed it. A hand sewn fabric robe made from recycled blue jeans and wrappings on his legs of cotton scrim are adorned with a necklace made from white feathers and antique cut glass beads that were given to me when I was in Sri Lanka.