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Spotlight on New Brunswick :: Felt Artist Lois McDonald-Layden

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Today we continue our spotlight on New Brunswick with Lois MacDonald-Layden.  Lois moved to the province a year and a half ago. She was born and raised in a very small fishing village in northern Newfoundland.  A horticulturist by trade, she is now a full time felt artist and instructor. Lois has lived across the country including the Territories.

There’s no denying that where Lois lives influences her work.  She says, ” In Yellowknife, I was inspired by the northern lights, ptarmigans, and the sunsets. And I still make things that are inspired by growing up in Newfoundland, right on the ocean.  I will always make flowers, because of my horticulture background. I’m collecting memories and influences from all over Canada and from my life.”

She loves the New Brunswick long summers and that the winters aren’t too long. When asked about her new province she says, “Everyone asks me, What’s special about New Brunswick? Well, it has so many hiking and biking trails that you could never do them all, they are everywhere. There are lots of waterfalls and dozens that you can hike or walk to and many with wonderful swimming spots. It’s a thing here, to go find waterfalls.  New Brunswick is on the Bay of Fundy with all the tides and the gorgeous ocean.  The trees here are wonderful; the autumn colours are drop dead stunning. I have a thing for trees, as you can see from my artwork.” 

Another influence has entered Lois’s artistic life since moving to New Brunswick, “Birdwatching!  I have definitely been inspired to make more birds since moving here.  My work changes depending on where I live because I’m inspired by what I see everyday.”

That’s not all Lois appreciates about  living and working in New Brunswick. Lois values the province’s vibrant arts community. She says, “It is constantly growing and evolving.”

Lois belongs to the Fredericton area  Fibre Art Network (FAN), a group of knitters, weavers, spinners, and felt makers that meet once a month and share ideas and projects, plan fibre sales and fibre art shows and demo days. She has met some lovely people, and finds she’s always getting inspired or learning something new.  She says, “It’s a great way to become involved in the fibre community and learn about opportunities.”

Lois enjoys making felted wool pillow covers, little birds, bookmarks and wool paintings. Her work is on Etsy and in boutiques/galleries across Canada and the US.  She loves Instagram and posts almost everyday.  She feels “It is a great supportive community, especially for any kind of visual art.”

Instagram:  tuckamoorwildcrafts

You can also find Lois’s work on Facebook :

If you’re in New Brunswick, Lois recommends:

Good Fibrations in Saint John. She says, “I just love Elizabeth, the owner. She is so enthusiastic and friendly, and a wonderful spinner, weaver and dyer. I also love Brigadoon Fibre Farm, Rachel and her family raise Alpacas and she sells the fibre and so many wonderful things like felted insoles and gorgeous yarn.”

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