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Gwen Martinuk :: The Little Lake :: Revisited

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

We wanted to take a closer look at the making of  The Little Lake  exhibition, currently on at the Salmon Arts Art Gallery. In our previous post we mentioned felted rocks, willow trees, and the making of water.

Did you know? There are about 200 felted rocks around the lake, and they were created by all ages and abilities in the last two weeks before the exhibition opened. We had open workshops for anyone to come and make one. A local landscape supplier, Blackburn Excavating, donated the rocks. Gwen Martinuk dyed the fibre various shades of grey and tan, and people created beautiful veins and patterns in their rocks. Gwen has been a felt artist for a number of years and is well known for her beautiful botanical printing on felted garments.

Melissa Nasby, owner of Soul Fibre created the life sized Great Blue Heron. She is an incredibly talented, award winning artist who also creates for the film industry. Visit Melissa’s Facebook page to see the range of her talents!

Did you notice the willow branches hanging over The Little Lake? There are over 400 willow branches hung from the ceiling, representing the many willow trees at McGuire Lake. They were spun using off-cuts from the lily pads and sedges (which were cut from large green wet-felted mats). It was Sara Holbrook who took the first bag of off-cuts and spun them into a mixed green fibre strand. Then Melissa Nasby, Jennifer Rodgers and Noelle Cox took on the spinning and created enough for us to do that beautiful mass in the centre of the gallery.

A local tapestry artist, Anne Long, created the lake itself entirely on her own. A team of 8 of us went to her studio to dye the fibre various shades of blue (she dyes and spins her own yarn for her tapestries). We accomplished a lot that day, but Anne continued to dye purples and greens to add to the mix. She then taught herself how to wet felt by watching youtube videos and talking on the phone to a couple of our felt-fibre artist team members. She created all 250 square feet of the lake herself. The day she showed up with all the sheets of lake was just a miracle.

The Little Lake is an inspiration for all of us to look within our own communities for opportunities to engage the public in creative adventures.  The Canadian Craft Federation has declared 2020 as a year-long festival of contemporary fine craft. Craft Year promotes events from all over the country. It is a platform to highlight Canadian craft activity at the local, regional, national and international levels.

felt :: feutre canada is partnering with the Canadian Craft Federation to showcase our talented felt artists in our 2020 Canadian Contemporary FELT Exhibition Felting on the Edge: Made in Canada.

(Note: Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the Felting on the Edge Exhibition call for entry has been deferred to sometime beyond 2021.)

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