Saturday, April 11, 2015

Imagery in Felt with Moy Mackay

When is a house a hice?

When that five-lettter word is pronounced by Moy Mackay of Peebles, Scotland.

Moy, a talented felter and a sweetheart of a woman, recently taught Imagery in Felt at New England Felting Supply of Easthampton, MA.

Moy wanted us all to create this image of a house:

It's a photo of somebody's scenic little lakeside house in Scotland.  Moy called it a hice.

It was a fun and challenging image to create from wool roving.  Here's my version, at an early
stage of its existence.

The process of wet felting involves forcing these pieces of wool roving to mesh with one another by means of hot water, soap, and elbow grease. At one point, I was concerned that mine wasn't felting properly, and I showed Moy, saying, "Nothin's happenin'!"

She was tickled at the way I said that.  She thought I sounded New Yorky.  Do I sound New Yorky?  It's true, I did grow up in the New Haven area, and the speech and pronunciation of that area are  thought to be more influenced by those of New York than, say, Boston or Rhode Island. Hey, I'm glad if my pronunciation is amusing.  Beats mediocre.

Anyway.  The class was a lot of fun, and Moy was a great teacher, patient, encouraging, and  generous with her time and attention.  There were 16 of us, and all the work that was produced was impressive.  I don't want to show you my piece the way it looks right now, though, because it's one of the most kindergarteny things I've ever made.  I'm gonna see if I can fix it.  Meanwhile, I'm not gonna show you, or at least not yet. Instead, I'll show you this image of Moy's, so that you can see what I aspire to.

All this took place in Easthampton, MA.  Have you ever been there?  Gotta love the businesses on their main street:  a luthier's co-op, a fencing academy, and a felting supply store.

I can also tell you that Easthampton boasts both a Keddy Street and a Doody Avenue. 

The road leading there climbs the shoulder of the magnificent traprock ridge prosaically known as Mt. Tom.

 The road I drove today climbed the lower slopes of the shoulder, on the right in this photo. 

Here in Connecticut, the roads traversing the traprock ridges, like Rt. 44 crossing the ridge called Avon Mountain, go right across the middle.  Go figure.

Mt. Tom has a certain majesty, which is made all the more awesome by the bleak presence of acres and acres of broken trees, gray and jaggedy, snapped off by a 2011 tornado.  Not that I could stop to take a picture--there's no shoulder.  But I found this photo on Google Images, which gives you an idea of the devastated landscape of that part of Massachusetts after the tornado.
The trip to New England Felting Supply from Hartford takes about 45 to 60 minutes.  It's worth every mile.

New England Felting Supply, Interior

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