Mary Jane MoffatContact Artist
Through my studio windows, located in Walton, in the Oregon Coast Range, I'm blessed to see douglas fir, alders and maples, and hear the song of a creek in which coho and chinook salmon leap and spawn, shaded by tall trees. The natural world, trees, fish and birds, as well as organic abstract shapes, inform my work. And finally I've found a sustainable art form.
Healthy for the planet and healthy for the artist. It's felt. An ancient art form it turns out, pre-dating weaving, and found all over the world where ever hairy animals are found.
I buy sheep fleeces directly from local farmers and the base layers of my work are almost always the natural color of one sheep. Then I lay out designs of dyed wool, silk or bamboo or angora on top of that.
Then I transform all this into a sturdy fabric using only warm water, soap and friction. And lots of time. Felt definitely qualifies as “slow art”!
Once the fibers are permanently adhered to each other, then the fun really begins when I add surface embellishments from embroidery and beads to lichen and shells, or cut through surface layers into those below, or add further layers of felt on top.
I make 3 dimensional objects such as bowls, as well as 2 dimensional wall hangings, rugs, baby blankets and scarves (with silk).
Because the felting process involves water and soap, my work is totally touchable, as it can be washed (carefully). And felt's long lasting, antimicrobial, stain, mold and fire resistant, as well as great at absorbing sound. I love working with clients on commissioned pieces.