Gail Heinze-Milne :: Finds Inspiration in Mexico

Updated: Oct 27, 2021


In early November, felt :: feutre canada member Gail Heinze-Milne arrived in Ajijic, Mexico for a six-month stay, just in time to join the Ajijic Society of the Arts and enter their fall exhibition. Her entry pieces were two small landscapes inspired by her time working with Moy Mackay at the 2018 Canadian Felt Symposium in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. 


Gail says, “Felting is not known down here (Mexico) and I spent most of my time at our opening gala explaining the process.” Though it seemed to pay off for her, as she sold one of her pieces.

In mid-February the Society held their Open Studio Art Walk. This popular two-day event brings together almost one hundred artists. Attendees must purchase an artist directory to enter the studios. The proceeds from this go to a Children’s Summer Art Camp the society hosts. Gail says “My sales were great but after two days I was getting weary of explaining the process.”


Gail also participated in a monthly Garden Show held by the local ASA. She says “At a huge cost to the artists of 50 pesos ($3.50 Cdn) and I enjoyed participating in these. Sales were good- it helps to be the only felter for thousands of miles I think.”


In February she was also asked to give a presentation to the group. About 160 members attended. Gail jokes, “So we have many more folks down here who at least have an inkling of what we do.”

As a result of the demonstration Gail was asked to give some classes. There is no source of merino wool roving down there but, luckily, Gail had brought a suitcase full. She held two small beginner classes and one handbag class for her keenest students. She already has a waiting list for next winter.


In early March, the Society held its judged competition in the local Cultural Centre. She entered two pieces in the Textile category and won both first and second place. One was a 3-D piece she titled “Haven” which was something she’d wanted to do since taking Fiona’s Surface Design class.


The winner – “Two Birds in Paradise” was inspired by the painted bunting and the bird of paradise flower that live in her garden. Gail thanks Moy Mackay and her great tutelage for that one.


It was a very exciting winter for Gail. She had a lot of fun promoting our amazing art form. Once she gets home to Canada she’ll be putting in a very large wool order.


She’s looking forward to returning next winter, she says, “Next year I won’t be the only felter in the entire state of Jalisco.”

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