Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Diane Lemire is a multidisciplinary artist, who draws inspiration from her surroundings, nature, and her personal life. She creates mixed-media sculptures, textile art, and paintings that evoke a sense of time, place, and forgotten memories.
For the past 16 years, she has been experimenting with felting techniques, seduced by this ancient craft of working with wool. She’s constantly exploring new ways to bring together natural fibre and recycled materials. All her pieces involve reclaiming materials, selecting found objects and imagining stories. This very lengthy and selective process is central to her work. She might use beautiful transparent silks, or create unusual printed fabric, then add fragments of lace which carry traces of knowledge and tradition from previous generations. The small found objects take on special meanings when incorporated into her work. They are like chameleons, that undergo a transformation and become part of a deeper narrative.
Recently we asked Diane to take part in a felt :: feutre canada Q&A. Lucky for us she agreed. We hope you will enjoy learning about this amazing artist’s process.
How did you discover felt making?
I was about 24 years old working part time at a Waldorf School.
Was it love at first sight?
Only after finishing University 1999. I went for a holidays in New Zealand and it was from there that I started doing my own work in felting.
Music or no music while you work ? If so what kind of music?
Music and French Radio.
Your favorite fibre?
Merino, silk and objects
My hands. (no felting machine at all)
Where do you find inspiration?
Nature, objects, old silk clothes and history
Do you teach? If so what do you enjoy about that?
Yes I teach at Haliburton School of Art in the summer and in my studio in Chelsea Québec. I love it. I also have a teaching degree. The more I teach the more I learn.
Who is your favorite artist? This can be another fibre artist or just any artist you admire.
My first love was Claudy Jongstra, (A Dutch Fibre Artist). In 2012 I was going to take a course with her but at the last minute it was canceled. I still think about it..
To learn more about this favorite of Diane’s visit: http://www.claudyjongstra.com
Do you have your early work?
What would you say to fibre artists just starting out?
Be unique. Value your work and be authentic.
Are you a perfectionist?
Yes I am, but in my own way……….
In 2016, Diane’s show: Paradox-Paradoxe could be seen at the MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TEXTILE MUSEUM in Almonte, Ontario.
(Update: As of November 2021, Diane's website is no longer available but her work can be purchased at https://generalfinecraft.com/makers-by-category/fibre/diane-lemire/)