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Fay Hodson :: Q&A with a Fibre Artist

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Fibre artist, Fay Hodson lives in Bragg Creek Alberta. A place that both motivates and inspires her with its beauty. Her blog: Art & Musings follows her artistic journey. Over the years she has experimented with: paper making, metal working, pottery, drawing, and felting. She loves discovering different mediums. Creativity has always been an important in her life.

We are pleased Fay agreed to take part in our Q&A and are sure you will enjoy learning about her artistic practice.

How did you discover felt making?

About 15 years ago I was introduced to needle-felting through an informal workshop held by a local artisan group that I belong to.  I have been hooked ever since. My first experience with wet felting was less engaging. Being a painter, I knew I wanted to explore the potential of fibre as a medium for creating 2 dimensional art, but I was not happy with my attempts until I discovered Moy Mackay’s “Felt and Stitch” book. Now I am hooked on both wet and needle felting and am currently exploring the vast potential of integrating them into 2 and 3 dimensional pieces.

Who is your favorite artist?

I would have to say Lauren Harris. I came across some of his paintings when I was on a field trip as a child and there is something about the way that he conveys the essence of his subjects that I aspire to achieve in my work.

Do you have your early work? Yes, I have some of my first felt pieces. They keep me humble. At the same time they remind me that my appreciation for felt has become more refined and while craftsmanship is important, especially for wearable felt,  it’s important not to lose site of the naïve aesthetic appreciation for felt.

What would you say to fibre artists just starting out? Be patient and enjoy the journey. It takes a while to get a feel for what is working but you can still enjoy creating something that you love.

Are you a perfectionist? I would say no but I can think of some folks who would disagree. I can usually see something in all of my pieces that I would do differently or do more of and it’s difficult to know when to say “it’s done.”

What is the best workshop you’ve ever taken? I cannot say enough good things about Lyn Pflueger’s knowledge and teaching style. I have taken a number of workshops with her. She has an amazing knowledge of felt specifically as well as about fibre and art in general which has helped me to understand the broader context and history of felt making.

Describe the space you create in… I have a reasonably sized studio but it has no windows, so I usually end up moving out to the adjacent area in our walk-out basement that lets me look out and feel less confined. This is only possible because of the patience (mostly) of those that I share the space with.

Your favourite fibre? This is tough. It’s like asking which is your favourite child. The trick is understanding which fibre is good for which application. Merino bat or tops are good, reliable standbys for wet felting. I prefer coarser rovings with a crimp for basic needle felting.

Your favourite tool?

I am not a “gadget” person and one of the things I like about felt-making is that you don’t need a lot of gadgets. I did recently come across a spare cheese grater and I have been using it to grate soap directly onto the felt rather than making soapy water – I like that it allows you to adjust the amount of soap in different areas.

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