Tag : Thoughts


Felt sense

Or who has invented my life?

For more than twenty years, creations were made mostly with wool. All kinds of things really: toys , scarves ,dresses, and handbags but also wall hangings ,sculptures and fantastic costumes. If the medium is the message, as the Canadian Marshall McLuhan stated, then what is the revelation of this material?

Are we artists not all driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide ?

Inspirations came and come from so many direction — some from walks in the forest ,some from books or exhibits. Then there are ideas like the seven deadly sins or dreams like the garden of delights.

South Dakota Art Museum 6
South Dakota Art Museum 6

But why this wool?

Why the loving of the felt?

Why love felt making ?

The wool is light and feral; it comes in so many colours and characters and qualities that surprise but also give tranquility because it feels so strangely common.

It is chaotic and wild and untamed ,still so close to the animal, who grows it generously several times a year.

Then the craft of felting ,the entangling of the fibers to a sturdy ,solid sculptable material .

Felted , that fluffy soft hair is caught in a material which looks like something close to animal hides, maybe even our own skin.

As wool it is free and flowing but as felt, it is imprisoned by its own hair.

As substance it gives us protection ,warmth ,insulation but its density can also invite sensations of breathlessness maybe even suffocation.

The feel of wool is inviting to touch — we felters cant resist the allure of its possibilities .

The laying out of the carefully combed or carded fibers. Designs with intricate patterns and forms . Fascinating color combinations, placing the wool filaments in all kind of directions sometimes mixed with silks or other fibers .This painting, this shingling hair by hair, done with presence and attention is calming for the mind. The result is enchanting .

Everything changes when we start to felt — adding the soapy water ,the rubbing and rolling ,the endless massaging ( Ever wondered what is behind that need of caressing our material for hours ,maybe every day?). Gently to start with ,to give the wool time to come together and then working with more force, entangles it forever in a new form .

The final hardening and shaping is intense and sometimes almost violent ,especially when the final work is voluminous and heavy in weight.

The intense physical labour can be very gratifying when making very large pieces — almost a “peakexperience . It can take months to prepare and it can be physically painful in the body, but getting there, is very satisfying .

The aliveness of this medium makes it feel close to our skin. The fact that we make it almost solely with our hands with no tools or screens , the experience of shaping the wool only with touch into a completely unique creation is outstanding .

Sometimes it feels as if the making seems to be more important then what is made. Usually the final result leaves a feeling of disappointment. But never the less, the next idea is already popping up in the mind and creating excitement for the next project.

And the message?

What is the message of all those soft sculptural pieces ?

All those creations which look like mysterious hides or creatures from the sea or maybe enchanted forests. Some remind us of body parts ,strange organisms that look like animals but at the same time like plants or mushrooms or maybe corals .

Do they express sensations which otherwise would stay unnoticed but want to be seen and “felt”?Felted sculpture by Marjolein Dallinga ,bloomfelt.com

In fact is not all art about existential questions? Who are we? What is life? Why death? What is the intent of sexuality? Why there is illness ? Why are we alienation from our body?

Questions we have no conclusive answers for.

Maybe Art is an attempt to handle all those questions , like science and religion try in their own particular ways.

Most of the felted art pieces are expressions of the struggle with the body —they are about death and sex, sometimes quite literarily express sensations or emotions.

Does this art ,do these felted pieces become a way to live ,a way to survive ?

Still every day ,when waking up the first thing really calling is the wool ,the studio and the next creation to felt

The wool ,light and malleable but modest and so versatile. Its forgiving nature is inviting ,relatively inexpensive easily open to extensive experimentation

The closeness of felt ,almost a second skin, a friendship without a friend.

Marjolein Dallingainspiration for bloomfelt


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inspiration for bloomfelt.com

Tuesday,snow day ,rain day,8 April 2014

. Sit and hear the wind in the dark forest


To dilate means to widen or open more fully and the purpose of experience, both through ease and pain, is to widen and open us more fully. The normal way we meet the world is full of bumps and bruises and noise that scratches up the heart. And yet, if we can endure and lean in, we are widened and opened to a depth that weaves the tissue of the Universe together.The Dilation of What Seems OrdinaryJust now, it happened again. My defenses were down, my memory machine asleep, my dream machine tired, and so the mystery—which is always beaming in all directions—made it through. And the moment of clarity it releases is always like a return from amnesia. So this is what it means to be a person, how could I forget: To be alive, to look out from these small canyons called eyes, to receive light from the sun off the water and feel it shimmer on the common water that fills my heart. To listen to the silence waiting under our stories, long enough that all the vanished words said over time simmer up in a scent that, for a second, makes me feel journeys that are not mine. Till I surface before you with a stumbled sense of happiness. Not because I’m any closer to what I want, or even know what I want. But because in the flood of all that is living, I am electrified—the way a muscle dreams under the skin of lifting whatever needs to be lifted. A Question to Walk With: What does it mean to you, to be a person? Ask this question of someone you’d like to know better.– See more at: http://threeintentions.com/2014/03/03/the-dilation-of-what-seems-ordinary/#sthash.22UmSd6J.dpuf

Read these weekly reflections on The Huffington Post and VividLife.Sooner or later, just by living, we are reduced to what matters, as so many things we thought were important and irreplaceable are broken or snapped like small branches in a storm. And somehow, we stand taller with less coverings. It is then we begin to feel gratitude, even though it’s hard to be grateful for what is difficult. In this regard, all poems are expressions of truth and gratitude. I Bow To AllI keep telling strangers thatto be in the presence of thosewith whom you can both sharepain and celebrate just wakingis the answer to loneliness. Such friendship makes the shar-ing of pizza in a noisy pub and thestanding in silence as the old oakcreaks all one could ask for. In truth, this process of beingworn to only what is raw andessential never ends. It’s as if a great bird lives insidethe stone of our days and sinceno sculptor can free it, it has towait for the elements to wear usdown until it’s free to fly.  A Question to Walk With: Describe a part of you that seems to be in mid-birth, a wing of being half-carved, and name one experience that is chiseling you free.– See more at: http://threeintentions.com/2013/12/09/i-bow-to-all/#sthash.XvLKZaRq.dpuf

The word authentic comes from the Greek authentes. It means “bearing the mark of the hands.” This original meaning tells us that to be authentic mean being hands-on. It’s through our hands and through the life of touch and honest engagement that we learn and grow. 

Our Hands 

Sometimes, with no warning, we suffer 
an earthquake and have to remake the 
earth beneath us. Someone we love may 
leave or die or think us cruel when we are 
kind. Sometimes the tools we need break 
or are stolen or simply stop working and 
we have to invent some more. Sometimes 
it feels like we can’t get through. That the 
phone won’t get reception. And the com- 
puter gets all jammed And sometimes what 
gets through is partial and misunderstood. 
It is then we are forced to go barefoot and 
re-find our hands. Sometimes we are asked 
to drift away from the crowd in order 
to be found by what we love. 

inspiration for bloomfelt.com

Saterday,29 march Minniapolis

Birds are starting to sing

Spring is coming ,wavering
Feeling like a Phoenix after a wonderful felting week here in Minniapolis
My wish, indeed my continuing passion, would be not to point the finger in judgment but to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.
Eudora Welty

inspiration for bloomfelt.com

Leaving Stuttgart 28 july 2013

Week at the Feltschool in Neu (filz)hausen ,Oberrot,Germany

«là-haut tout est silence». 
There’s a great story you may have heard of Buddha talking to his students and saying, “My teachings are only fingers pointing to the moon. Don’t get hung up on my fingers, look at the moon.” The real value of any work of art is the invisible, mysterious essence of life it points to—like that moon, not itself.