Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Cindy Obuck is a graphic artist, web developer and mixed media fiber artist living in Regina, Saskatchewan. She creates hand felted and dyed art works and likes to experiment with various embellishments to add dimension and interest to her work which has an abstract and contemporary feel to it. We are thrilled Cindy agreed to take part in our first Q&A of 2017.
How did you discover felt making?
I started out as a quilter, however after breaking my elbow I found it very difficult to sew. I started searching and discovered Fiona Wright’s wonderful feltworks. I reached out to her and to my surprise she was coming to Canada. I arranged a meeting with her and she gave me my first felt lesson.
Was it love at first sight?
Pretty close!!! I fell in love with the way the wool becomes felt, how you can manipulate the product and create so many items. The idea of incorporating other fibres into the wool really intrigued me.
Music or no music while you work? If so what kind of music?
Music all the way!!!! – unless the Olympics or World Cup are happening! I love to listen to music with high energy. I feel like I am doing a dance with the wool. Its very meditative for me.
Where do you find inspiration?
I usually find it within nature. I live on the Prairies where there is an abundance of color texture and movement within the environment. I open myself up while taking a walk through the fields, or driving across the countryside watching our amazing living skies.
Do you teach? If so what do you enjoy about that?
I do teach but very little, as I work full time. I do enjoy sharing my love of the wool and watching others get excited about the possibilities. It is also so nice to meet new people, network and hear their creative story.
Who is your favorite artist? This can be another fibre artist or just any artist you admire. I have always enjoyed the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. http://www.hundertwasser-friedensreich.com I love the colors and the simplicity, yet claustrophobic appearance of his work. Another artist that I have admired over the years is Dale Chihuly. http://www.chihuly.com His glass work is something spectacular. The colors, and organic movement has been known to come out in some of my work. My mentor, Martha Cole, a textile artist, http://www.sknac.ca/index.php?page=ArtistDetail&id=217a who has mentored me over the years. There are several felt artists that I truly admire who have guided me along the way.
What would you say to fibre artists just starting out?
Learn as much as you need to get started and then do the work! You can take millions of classes, but if you don’t do the work you will never find your way.
Are you a perfectionist?
No, not really. I do insist that my work is of high quality and felted strongly.
What is your philosophy about creating?
Just enjoy what you create. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece every time. For me it’s more about the process, the meditation and relaxation I get from creating.
Have you ever gone through a dry spell or felt blocked? What did you do to get restarted?
Yes!!!! I usually see this happen after I have done an exhibition. I have put so much energy into creating the pieces that I become burnt out. I also work in a highly creative job, that requires a great deal of energy, so when I get home I have nothing left in the tank! However, I try not to let it get me down, and just give myself the time. I will often look through books, visit galleries, surf the internet or take a workshop to see if there is something that might trigger the excitement again.
Describe the space you create in….
I have a studio in my basement with two large tables, access to water and shelves that are filled with all colors of wool and yarn!! I can leave my work and other than the cat there is no one to bother it. Although I have limited sunlight down there, it is a great space to create. I have even had a few casual workshops in it! Now that my sons have left home, I have also taken over one of the bedrooms upstairs for an additional creative space.
Do you have an upcoming exhibition?
I do not have anything in the immediate future, although I am working on a few possibilities.
What are you working on now?
Currently I am experimenting with painting with dyes on the wool and silk. I have always enjoyed painting, but I have never really managed to master painting using the wool fibres. Using the dyes seems to be a better fit for me, and its rather exciting.
merino. I love the softness of it.
Rice paddle. I like to hand rub most of my work and the rice paddle helps in the process yet is not overly abrasive.