Maine: A Plethora of Artists

Dear Followers,

Sorry about not posting my adventures yesterday but technical difficulties got in the way.  I have to take pictures with my phone to include in the post but my battery died as fast as the dinosaurs did when the big meteor hit.  So, I may not be able to include too many pictures from the field.

With that out of the way, let me tell you about Tuesday’s activities.  We headed to Deer Island where a large colony of artistic folks reside.  We were treated with meeting four such talented ladies who explained their creative processes and gave demonstrations.

First up was Chris Leith of Eggemoggin Textile Studios.  Chris weaves beautiful hand dyed silk scarves.  What differs about her process is that she dyes the silk warp before she threads the loom.  This way the colors blend throughout the length of the scarf.  She demonstrated her dying process in her basement dye room where 15 yards of silk warp threads were laid out on a very long work table.  She simply paints on the dye with a foam brush.

A hand dyed, hand woven silk cowl by Chris Leith.
A hand dyed, hand woven silk cowl by Chris Leith.

Next stop, Ecouture Textile Studio and artist Amelia Poole.  Amelia uses all natural materials and plants only found in her local area to make her imprint dyed fabrics.  She takes a length of prepared silk or linen, places leaves and flowers on the fabric, covers it with another piece of cotton, and rolls the bundle around a fat block of wood.  A wrap with parchment paper and a soak in a pot of hot water, causes the natural dyes and pigment in the plants to imprint the fabric.  It almost seems like magic!

A sample of Amelia's dyed fabric.
A sample of Amelia’s dyed fabric.

 

We got a triple treat at the next stop…lunch and presentations by two more artists.  Jennifer Lee Morrow, a mixed media artist, uses fabrics, wire, printed paper, wood, and many other textiles to create wall art that tells a story.  She said, “When you put things together such as sewing two pieces of fabric together, those two items start to have a conversation.”  Looking at her creations, I could understand what she meant.

Melissa Mattes is a felt artist who moved to Maine and wanted to do everything wool, from sheep to finished product.  After spending some time with a “wool guru”, she fell in love with felting.  Her works are flat pieces, suitable for framing and hanging.  She also combines materials, such as creating a green background of rolling hills and embroidering flowers and details onto the felt.  She gave a demonstration of how she hand felts her materials, and as someone who has tried hand felting, she made it look at lot easier than it is!

Our tour activities on Wednesday were centered at Halcyon Yarn, the shop sponsoring the Fiber ME tour.  In the morning, hooking artist Susie Stephenson taught us how to make a floral brooch.  I had never tried this craft but had a lot of fun doing it.

Here's the one I made.
Here’s the one I made.

 

In the afternoon, we were able to visit with 17 artists, take look at their crafts and purchase items.

This tatted snowflake is the work of Elaine O'Donal of Tatted Webs.  Watch out for the spider!
This tatted snowflake is the work of Elaine O’Donal of Tatted Webs. Watch out for the spider!
This handcrafted journal is the work of Joelle Leavitt Webber of Mermaid Bindery.
This handcrafted journal is the work of Joelle Leavitt Webber of Mermaid Bindery.

Many other crafts were represented and it is amazing the number of talented, creative people living in Maine.  Having so many like-minded folks around has to be inspiring and supportive for fledgling and seasoned artists alike.

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4 thoughts on “Maine: A Plethora of Artists

    1. No, he didn’t make a craft. He liked to rugs woven by Sara Hotchkiss the most. We couldn’t take pictures but has about 12 looms in her studio and weaves room sized rugs. She’s been weaving for 40 years and works by herself.

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