Let me start by introducing myself just in case you are wondering, ‘Who is this Dawn Edwards’? I live in a small town of about 4,000 people in Plainwell, Michigan, 2.5 hours from Detroit, 3 hours to Chicago, and I have been felting approximately eight years now, having loved it from the very beginning. I can’t explain exactly what draws me to it so, but I know that it is like a magnet….pulling me towards it most every day, and when I’m not ‘with it’, I’m thinking about it. So now you know, I have a one-track mind!
I must say that I’m so honored to have been asked to jump on board with FeltUnited, as I love everything that it stands for…Love that it involves felting, and through our shared passion, helps to connect people in a world where it sometimes seems hard to make connections, to forge strong bonds. And, I know for a fact, that this platform has the power to do that. I have found some of my dearest friends through feltmaking and for that I am so very grateful.
Speaking of friends, I am thrilled to be working with long-time friend, Nicola Brown, who I met online through feltmaking some years back, me following her wonderful blog, and also joining in on some of her felt swaps, later having her teach here in my hometown (several times), and then me traveling to Ireland to teach there just last Spring. It’s amazing to me that we’ve had these opportunities through the gift of feltmaking and I’m looking forward to adding this new component to our friendship. Thank you Nicola for partnering with me on this new adventure. We’ll navigate this path much better than my sense of driving directions!!!
While excited about this new opportunity, I must admit to being a bit nervous, too. Someone entrusting you with something that they love, and have created, is a big responsibility. So, thank you Elis and Cynthia, for entrusting me/us to continue on this path that you so lovingly began. And, I say that, because there was never any pay involved…no one knows the many countless hours that you poured your heart and soul into this project…devoting your time and energy to it because it felt like the right thing to do…and you loved feltmaking…and in turn, loved us, too…Knowing that somehow felt held the power to bond people right along with those wonderful wool fibers.
I read once that feltmaking was in ancient days thought to have magical powers. And, I can totally understand that….It has been magic to me… having led me on some of the most amazing journeys. And, I hope that for each of you reading this post, that if you haven’t as yet experienced the magic of felt, that it is just around the next bend for you and your life.
Please be a bit patient with us as we embark on this new journey of FeltUnited, and all that goes along with it. Nicola and I will need a little time to get up to speed, put our heads together, and then we hope that you will join us in the celebration of all things felt, both the fiber and the friendships….as we begin the planning of FeltUnited 2013.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart dear Elis and Cynthia, for a job so much more than well done…You dreamed the dream, put it into motion, saw it through to this point, and are now turning it over to two entirely different dreamers. Thank you for your friendship and your generous heart(s), and once again, for giving me wings to fly.
With a grateful heart…
Dear Fellow Felters,
Greetings from the other half of this new FeltUnited partnership!
My name is Nicola Brown and I live in a quiet, rural community in south eastern Ireland. My introduction to felting came in August 2007 when a Spanish girl living locally asked me if she could facilitate felting workshops for children at a sustainable festival I was involved in organising. Immediately I agreed with one provision, adults be allowed to participate too! I’d seen two small flat felt pictures that a friend had made in art college and had vowed at the time to learn more about the ancient technique of wet felting. After that first session at the festival I was hooked, the facilitator Carmen Sanchez Padron has become one of my best friends and an exciting textile journey had begun.
Since then I’ve participated and organised many Irish and international workshops and symposiums, a vital way for me to learn new skills and make friends in the greater felting community. I have been teaching once or twice each year in California, Michigan and Kentucky since facilitating my first US workshop in 2009 and this year I added a residential week in Portugal to my regular schedule. One of my greatest achievements to date has been encouraging Dawn to get a passport!!! Having her visit me this year in Ireland and teach two workshops was wonderful, now the ice is broken she’s already got her bags packed for a return trip in March 2013! Blogging and participating actively on Facebook and other social media sites has allowed me engage with an ever widening group of felters and artists worldwide, it’s just wonderful to put faces to the names when we meet at various events throughout the year! I absolutely love felting by myself at home or in my studio every day if possible and being active online is an amazing tool to reach out and learn from or offer support to anyone, anywhere, at any time of the day or night. I’ve also had the opportunity to self-publish two felting books with a UK friend; the internet really is an incredible facility to introduce like minded people to each other.
It’s also true that many artists at times feel isolated, especially if they live in remote areas or practice a discipline that has not traditionally been a craft in their region. FeltUnited is a marvellous movement that helps us connect and engage with others who already love to explore the possibilities of working with wool and see how far they can push the felting boundaries. Elis and Cynthia have blazed a trail that Dawn and I are so incredibly honoured to follow. Working with Dawn is going to be a blast, we really tick on the same wavelength and I’m so looking forward to the journey together!
Thanks Elis and Cynthia from the bottom of my heart for having the confidence in us to hand over the reins and encouraging us to continue the amazing work that you have started. We really will do everything in our power to continue holding out the hand of friendship and uniting people through our love of felting. Please bear with us folks as Dawn and I move forwards, it’s going to take some time and hard work to really get to grips with the power of FeltUnited but I know with your support we’ll have fun while we’re doing it.