Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Recently felt :: feutre canada member, Fay Hodson, shared with us her project, “Mountain to Prairie” created for our new initiative, Ex Animo :: Heartfelt :: From the Heart. This initiative is a Canada-wide collaborative felt project designed to celebrate felt and felt-making in conjunction with Craft Year 2020. The money raised with this project will fund our Excellence in Feltmaking Bursary.
Fay was kind enough to agree to a be interviewed about her piece. We think you’ll enjoy what she had to say.
Describe your unique part of Canada.
I live in a magical region of contrasts – the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. My home and studio are located in a small sub-alpine community spotted with wetlands and populated with wildlife and people, in that order. A short distance to the west, the Rockies provide picturesque alpine meadows, majestic peaks, and cold, clear, rushing rivers. To the east, the prairie stretches out as far as the eye can see to a distant horizon. The area is steeped in indigenous history, the fur trade, and ranching. My community is relatively close to Calgary and its urban influences are becoming more evident – both positive and negative.
Tell us about your creative community.
I belong to a strong fibre arts guild whose history is rooted in the ranching community. There is a sub-group of felters, some of whom have been felting since the 1970s. We share knowledge, skills, and keep each other motivated. I am very grateful for the knowledge they have shared – I’ve gone from being interested in wool as a raw material for felting to gaining a broader appreciation for the culture associated with its production and use.
What was the inspiration behind your piece?
This piece “Mountain to Prairie” is a small version of a larger piece I started to create for the felt :: feutre canada's “Felting on the Edge” exhibition which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is an aerial representation of the transition zone between mountains and prairie. It is made primarily with western Canadian wool and embellished with silk, cotton, mohair, hemp, and thread. The relief of the foothills and mountains was created using book resists. Stitching and nuno-felted hand-dyed silk and cotton add texture to the fields and river.
To learn more about Fay’s work visit: https://fayhodson.com