Thursday, November 22, 2007
I *felt* strongly about this artist.
juliepersons of Etsy works in wool felt, thus the bad pun I began with-- but that fact is, I found her work strongly moving. Although she sculpts many things in wool, including jewelry, accessories and bowls, the really outstanding items in her shop are the dolls and tapestries. Particularly interesting is her recurring themes of pregnancy and nursing. I've long believed that as a society, we need to get over the negative reaction to nursing. It's the best thing for the health of children, but women receive a lot of pressure, both economic and social, to stop as soon as possible. So, if art can change the world, I hope images like these can change people's reactions to nature's baby food. Also, you can see she does mermaids, which I find just plain cool as a fantasy artist.
In fact she started felting after her daughter was weaned. The loss of that means of emotional bonding was saddening and the artwork was a cathartic experience. Her works take from two hours to four-- a simple doll takes about 3 hours, with more time for the nursing dolls (after all, those are two dolls together!) "I feel like I "know" each one so well by the time I am done," she says of the long process.
Of her themes, "My focus on maternity comes from being a mother, I think. I love the female form and the pregnant torso is a beautiful, wondrous thing."
Having had such a strong sense of meaningfulness and appreciation when I went to her store, I asked her what first reaction she wants to create. "I hope that newcomers to the store will feel joy when they enter. I hope that I can share the feeling that I LOVE what I do and put a part of myself into every piece. I am happy when I am felting and I am grateful for the chance to share that with others."
I think her happiness shines through, and I think you will see it, too. Her store is at