Saturday, February 18, 2012

The wonderful world of hand-dyed wool and felt

I recently bought my daughter a beaded felt wallet... it instantly triggered a flashback on my own felt making days. Years ago, I became fascinated by the amazing hand-made creations of Michael Gretch, who would turn natural wool fiber into hand-felted no-sewing kimono-like coats and whimsical accessories. I had to know how he did it...
Labor of love to say the least... I would spend hours with Michael, dyeing the raw wool fibers in huge cauldrons in his dye splattered kitchen, stomping on the dyed wool in his bathtub, then sitting on the floor for hours surrounded by mountains of colorful felt. With a burnishing tool, he would intricately carve his patterns, while I, the novice, would make simpler creations,  endlessly rolling beads, experimenting this way and that way to make larger than life necklaces and bracelets.
I did a lot of fashion photography back then, and between the exotic model, the boldness of my pieces, I treasure my memories of those fabulously messy and creative afternoons.

I decided to photograph the necklaces and bracelets close-ups just recently in homage to my friend.

I photographed Michael in many of his coats, 
and will be posting them soon in this digitized world... 
stay tuned... it's good for the soul.