May 28, 2011

My Welcome to TAFA

Well, it’s been over three months since I joined the TAFA list. I’m not sure where the time has flown by, as usual. But, I’ve really enjoyed being part of such a like minded support group!

Seeing the blog posts and projects continues to inspire me and make me realize I’m not alone in my endeavours. I tend to be a fiber artist that is all over the place with the techniques and materials that I am using. As I call myself a “jack of all trades…master of none”. So, this group is a wonderful place that all methods of madness are welcome!

My first fun experience with the TAFA group evolved immediately upon my joining. Early in March I was planning a family trip to Paris, France with my family. I decided to contact TAFA felting artist, Ariane Sroka through an Etsy conversation. I just asked if there were art related things going on the week we would be there, that she was aware of. Well, she happened to be doing an exhibit and demonstration event in the city that weekend at l’Atelier Bastille in the Viaduc des Arts. I was so excited to put this into our travel agenda.

Ariane had her exquisite hand felted garments artfully displayed along with artist, Evelyne Alice Bridier, in an architecturally beautiful space. When I arrived she was demonstrating the wet felting of a small felted flower to a couple of women. Even though I was not able to understand the words she spoke, the fiber art language is universal. She soon had these women amazed at her beautiful creation.  

Ariane then spent quite awhile chatting with me (in English!) and sharing her enthusiasm for her artwork. We found that we both started our professions in the field of architecture and now love the process of nuno- felting! The Italian merino wools that Ariane uses as well as her whimsy and creative joy are even more beautiful in person, although they are wonderful in photographs as well (please visit her Flickr gallery!). I soon realized I had to take one of her garments home with me. After a slight challenge getting me logged into a French computer so that I could access my PayPal account, I purchased a lovely nuno-felted reversible vest with dusty mauve orchids.

Pamela Penney Textile Arts

TAFA is a great way to reach out and make new contacts, new friends and new inspiration. I’m looking forward to more travels and hope to meet in person many of the TAFA members along the way. And please, if anyone is traveling to the Chicago area, look me up. My studio is just 9 miles west of the city on a major train line, very easy to get to and I would love to share what I do with you!

Submitted by Pamela Penney

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