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Over the Mountain

What happens when artist friends enter an art show that includes a catwalk fashion show?

And at 57 and 61 we're the models!!!

Anxiety, lots of deep breathes- strutting our stuff, laughing.

We made our textiles. Here's us being freaks in the Green room.

Carmen Ditzler and Gina Ebelher.



Gina's Artist Statement and ensemble!!!

Title: Serendipitous Harmony



Creating is such a calming and focused challenge. This ensemble was inspired by a wish to repurpose or reuse materials I had already made or had . The shawl is an original design made with single ply unspun 100% Canadian wool from a company that is no longer producing, Buffulo Yarns. The shift is an original design from fireweed dirty pot eco printed linen/cotton and hand made felt with embellishments. The thrift store acquired capri pants are fireweed dirty pot eco printed from a different batch. This isn't my first attempt at designing for a show but it is my first time trying to create from what I already have.

The endless possibilities of fibre makes it an inspiring journey I have been creating art and things for several years with a penchant for the functional and practical and repurposing was a necessity at times and now it seems the way to be. As an artist I have progressed through watercolours and acrylics as a medium to using wool and plant fibres to make felt Into practical and functional things to wear with the occasional purely artistic piece. In this fibre journey, I have processed the wool directly from the sheep into felt and yarn. I do strive to learn new skills or different techniques of which eco printing and knitting with unspun are the most recent. I am hoping to continue my fibre creative exploration.



Here's my artist statement and ensemble!


Title: Forest Defender

 

I am inspired by the natural world around me, balanced with my grief and anger at the state of our planet. My textile practice is a source of meditation, solace, joy, and activism.   My eldest child is 24 and works as a wildland firefighter.  I live in a magical mixed forest that every summer is at risk of burning.   The combination of beauty and threat inspired me to create this work of art.

 

My journey began 30 years ago when I taught myself how to knit. From there I explored dyeing, spinning, wet felting, needle felt, eco-printing, and weaving. My interest is in natural materials such as; wool from a variety of breeds of sheep, cotton, silk, viscose, bamboo, ramie and willow.  The process of wet felting constantly fascinates me as a humble material such as wool is transformed by the use of soap, water and hands to turn delicate wool roving into a strong, flexible, warm, beautiful felt.

 

In this piece I dyed, eco-printed and rusted, plain cotton and silk fabrics and natural wool into the colours and textures you see. This was my palette in transforming the natural fibers into felt. The wool is combined with open weave natural fabrics to create a unique textured material referred to as nuno felt.  The wearable sections- hat, gauntlets, leg warmers and tunic were felted without seams over resists and then stitched to alter the shapes and enhance the designs.

 

Left in the forest this entire piece would decompose back into nature over time only leaving behind the tiny sparkly bits.


If you'd like to see our work in person (it's much better!) Both ensembles will be on display at the Rossland Library in May and the VISAC Gallery in Trail for most of the summer.


The more we work in hand made felt and eco-printing the more we discover that no one understands it! If you'd like to take or organize a workshop let us know.

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