felt luminary

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Contradiction to Consider

  Can one be in a contradiction?  Or does one feel contradicted about something?  Either way I think I'm there.  I looked contradiction up and it gave this meaning:
a combination of statements, ideas or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.  Hmmm.  Here is the deal...the holidays are upon us, and I love the holidays.  I put the red stocking I made in the previous posting up for sale on my Etsy shop (ifeltlikeitbyterry) and it got lots of hits and was "favorited" many times.  And, yes, it sold.  One gentleman even asked if I could make four stockings in different colors with that design on them, they're pictured above.  He was very flattering and naturally I said yes!  I could really use the $$ too.  So far I've sold 8 stockings off my site and I'm super happy about that.
  Here is the "contradiction" . I would one day like to feel comfortable calling myself a fiber artist.  That being said, am I getting off on the right foot creating multiples of something-the same thing over and over-like offering the above stockings again?  I ended up re-listing them on my site, and I hate to say it but the main reason was that it was an easy money maker.  OK, I know we're just talking Christmas stockings here, but it's a start.  One reason people buy hand made is because they want to get something original.  I would hate to buy a nuno felted scarf and a few weeks later see that same scarf on someone else, or even for sale again in the shop I bought it from.
A friend of mine said I'm being too hard on myself and that since I did design them I should feel free to make as many of them as I like.  True too.  But does someone who wants to consider herself an artist one day create the same thing over again or does she come up with new and original ideas in order to further her creativity?
  Now I think I may contradict myself...I've started making these simple necklaces pictured below left.  I make a felt cord with these beautiful lampwork beads my cousin makes on them.  They are tricky to make since you have create the cord while the bead is on it.  Anyway, I'm really jazzed at how they turned out, there is a felt loop and hook at the back.  I just got a new batch of beads and plan to make some of the necklaces in different colors to put on my etsy site.  Now here, I don't feel that making multiples of the necklaces is a problem like I did with the stockings.  Hmmm.  Now I could never make a replica of the scarf I just made, pictured below right.  That would just be plain wrong in my book.  Now, in another color with different yarns....maybe.     Contradiction?
  One thing I am sure of though is that I love making felt and feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do what I love.  For that I need to thank my husband, Jack.  He makes it possible for me to study the craft of felting and then run with what I've learned.  I am such a lucky gal!  And there is no contradiction there.


  1. Really, doesn't it depend on why you began the felting business in the first place? Just to do it? or to make money at it, in which case, oddles of the moula or enough to cover costs and make a little more? Then, if you get custom orders or those for lots of the same (hasn't happened to me yet, by the way - think most folks go for hand made because it is normally a one-off, and I find I cannot make some exactly the same however hard I try1)

    Hope that helps to iron out the confusion! Love the stockings by the way.

  2. You are already a fiber artist. The design is yours to do with as you like, and I bet, if you lay out all the stockings you've made using the original design, no two are exactly alike. They differ because they are artisanal...not like machine made reproductions of the same old thing. From reading your blog, you started working with fiber and felt because you found yourself unable to resist it, much like me. I make some very OOAK and unreproducible pieces and some actually sell...lol...more often though, I sell popular knick knack type needle felted pieces or scarves that are OOAK in ornamentation and colorway but far from of original design...if that makes sense.
    Please don't struggle with these questions. Create for the joy it brings you. Money is a necessary thing for all of us and if you need to sell your felt to be able to further your exploration of your passion...do so, without guilt or worry. If a design is particularly close to your heart, decide to not reproduce it in any way and if you choose to sell it, price it accordingly. If it touches your emotions, it will someone elses too.
    I hope this has not been as rambling and disjointed as it feels. I too struggle with calling myself an artist, but until I recognized that I am indeed a fiber artist I would not allow myself to embrace my art as I have recently.

  3. Hi..I appreciate your delema. I haven't been a felter very long, only since July, this year. I've always been a little crafty, but went crazy for felt. I'm obsessed with it. Unfortunately I do have a day job as a manicurist, but I found myself scheduling around my felting instead of the other way around, lol.
    My shop I work at was nice enough to let me bring in some things that I made. It was really hard having everyone judge things with me there...but much to my joy, the scarves took off. I found myself making tons of scarves, which was nice, don't get me wrong. But I kinda felt like I sold out, took the easy road, etc.
    Well, the nice thing about it was it REALLY helped my confidence, which gave me the courage to open up my etsy store. I had not heard of of etsy either!
    Etsy has been the greatest thing ever! I joined this wonderful group, and found your blog. Also, I live in Ventura, which is 5 hrs south from you. One of the things that I noticed about being here is most fiber fairs seem to be on the east coast or another country. It's nice to hear from someone that has found a place for lessons, a person to give them, even the occasional fiber fair! Thanks for that.
    My boyfriend is from Scott's valley , so I'm familiar with that area. Keep up the blogging, I've enjoyed it. If there are typos in this, I'm leaving them! I've erased this twice already by accident trying to correct them, geeze...Oh love your shop, the name of mine is feltbetter, thanks again..