Revisiting Old Pieces

There was something about this piece that always bugged me. It didn’t fit on the chest where I really wanted it to be. The ends flared in an ugly way, the felt retained the imprint of the bubble wrap. In every way it just looked unfinished, like I’d whipped it out in a hurry without taking the time to work it fully (felt never lies).

As I have grown in my feltmaking skills, looking at this piece day after day irked me, but I left it there as a reminder of my progress, humility being important as an artist and parent. There was another part of me that was too impatient to return to a piece, however imperfect, when there was something new to try.


Because the chest sits by the front door, it is the logical spot to dump books, keys and bottoms (cat and youngest child being the primary perps). After picking it up from the floor for the umpteenth time, I couldn’t bare to smooth it out again. So I brought it back to the studio for a little extra felting.


After soaking it in hot water for a few minutes, I worked it on the glass washboard, giving special attention to the uneven edges, pulling them into line. When I started working on it, the runner measured 49″ x 12″. After just a few minutes of agitation, it started to shrink dramatically.


Now it measures 37″ x 10″, is mostly rectangular and fits pefectly on the chest. Last night I smiled as I looked at it across the room. The colors have faded as the amber fibers migrated further to the front, but I think it works better now. At least it gives me satisfaction instead of pangs of disappointment.


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