Inteview by Nancy Walker
Alice’s excitement about her eco felting is palatable and I think I know why. It’s the perfect blend of her felting, her bold sense of design and her love of growing things. Her front and back yards are a 100% flower and vegetable paradise. She is now growing the plants that she uses to dye, design and print her finely felted and silk. Her designs are scrumptious! The beauty of dying this way is that it is completely non-toxic. When she is through with this process, she puts all the leftover plant material into her compost and the cycle continues.
Alice has taken the fairly new interest in eco printing to a whole new creative level. We usually see the prints of the actual plants or leaves which impart the dye. That is not enough for Alice. She takes these plants and cuts them in lines, squares and circles and places the on the fabric with a keen eye for design. She has taken the practical use of eco printing and lifted this craft right out of the norm.
Alice co- headed the West of Main Art Walk last year and is running it solo this year (2019) with a lot of volunteers of course. Her vision and generosity of spirit has brought the number of particpating artists from 25 to 70. Her main thrust is building and nurturing community among artists. Many become life long friends. She has a talent for matching artists with a particular volunteer job and their special skills, creating a thriving happy organization.
Just walk into her studio and you’ll see her work areas are full of interesting leaves, fragrant eucalyptus and many others I can’t name. She cuts them into circles and squares and lines, adds twigs and buds and bits of wire to create a symphony of colors and striking earthy design. Some of her collected plants come from hot sunny places where “they produce beautiful reds and oranges, the plants that grow here in the north make greens and umbers”. Inspired by Japanese textile shaboui techniques and her bold sense of design, she creates an unusual mix of sharp detail with an overall organic flow. It’s magical, the process as much as the finished pieces. The colours are literally from the earth itself, deep reds, and greens and grays and each eco print is exquisite and that she makes this grand cycle is so compelling.
Her astonishing creations from inside her studio and from outside in her garden are completely inspiring!
Small samples of possibilities, can you see the faint texture of the strong wrapped marks of the shaboui technique?
Garden Beauties printed on her very delicate feather light felt
A piece in the making, carefully cut and placed leaves ready to be wrapped
These wraps feel glorious on. That bundle of dark greens and browns at the bottom is from one dye bath
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