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London-Wul is a fibre farm in New Brunswick Canada where animals are neither destroyed nor sold without exception. Also a national award winning shop and studio, London-Wul is home to textile artist Heidi Wulfraat.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

COMPANY'S COMING

... felting workshop this coming week. I thoroughly enjoy the last minute touches and tweaks to dabble over in anticipation for our guests arrival .... an event!

Here is a detail photo from "One Fine Day". I have felted then wet finished the apple.
Free motion stitching was done by machine. Embroidery was done by hand.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LATEST

Felted book covers, my latest preoccupation. We will be workshopping this project a little later on in the year. I cant wait!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MOVING TO CANVAS

To conclude this follow up on a Rug Hooking Daily conversation here is
one more note about moving from photo to canvas, or at least my method of doing so.
The starting point is a photo of our "Finn", working his magic.

personally, I choose materials as I go. Selecting only for color. Doesn't matter what it is, if it's exactly the color I need I'll hook with it. Everyone plans color and material in their own way.
My method is slightly chaotic, leaving much to intuition. The color wheel is a valuable tool. Color theory is a worthwhile pursuit. Don't let them over ride your gut feeling. Your intuition will not only choose color because "it goes" it will also choose color based on the sentiment, mood or level of energy that it conveys.

Here's my color selection in progress. Finn was a "summer child" and I was immediately drawn to a lush, "wide awake" pallet for this rug ...


Once again here, you can see my sketching on the canvas. I actually moved Finn by about 6 inches in this rug. Using different colored sharpies I was still easily able to follow my final design.
Mistakes or should I say changes of heart will completely disappear as the rug is hooked.


... the finished rug is labeled "Captain Fantastic", approx. 4 feet x 4 feet.
Unfortunately the colors in this photo are not exactly true to the rug, at least not on my monitor.
..and here we are speaking about color:)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

PLAY WITH CROPPING part two

More potential designs revealed upon cropping.
...maybe a New Brunswick Spring series?


1. ice breaking along river bed, cropped to design


2. ice breaking along river bank, cropped to design

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FROM PHOTO TO CANVAS

More about photos today.

I was recently asked how I transfer an image from photo to canvas for rug hooking. The answer is quite simple. I sketch the image onto my linen backing.

Here I have worked a photo digitally so that I can have a look at simplified lines throughout.
I often like to see this perspective before drawing. I translate the photo image to linen backing by free hand drawing using sharpies of various colors. I find free hand so much easier than trying to get the scale that I'm looking for by digital means. I usually work fairly large ("Angus" is 6 feet x 3.5 feet). I suppose I would need to head off to a printer and have him work his magic for me in order to get something large enough to work with. That's just way too much trouble for me and quite expensive, I imagine. Here's a step by step on "Angus" from photo to canvas:



I took several photos, printed them out and actually taped them together to get a panoramic perspective. No fancy camera here, and my print are actually on plain old card stock.

Sometimes it's nice to digitally "simplify" the lines before going to sketch.

I surround myself with other photos taken on site, for reference.


Here is the image as sketched onto a linen backing. You'll notice that the dog was first sketched in green and then corrections were made in black.

....and finally, here is the rug.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

PLAY WITH CROPPING Part One

Almost all of the work that I do in terms of hooked rugs and felted panels are developed from photographs. Perhaps being the daughter of a professional photographer has been one of my strongest influences. Once a week, with little exception, I am traveling the back roads of Atlantic Canada, snapping photos as I go. The majority of my pieces, dogs, sheep and goats included, speak about my life in this region and through the wonders of digital photography I have amassed hundreds of photos recording just that.
Yesterday we visited St. Martins New Brunswick. Here is the first of a series that I will work through to design potential.

Rock Cliff
Cropping this photo several ways will reveal three pieces that I will develop as textiles.

#1. tree tops
I love this shot as a tall angular shape that emphasizes the height of this cliff
with a beautiful contrast between the soft waving clouds and the uniform, rigid striations of the rock cliff itself. Also in lovely contrast are the horizontal and vertical lines in this photo.
All much more available to the eye in this cropped version.

#2. Rock Cliff detail
This in itself interests me, aside from everything else that is going on in the photo. I love to examine small detail. In this case, the lines, curves, textures - all divine!


#3. Sky
I feel that this image stands alone, though it is also great reference for a piece that is in need of some overhead interest.

Friday, March 12, 2010

HANDSPUN GLITTER



... lots of fun spinning on a little Ashford Kiwi. I think this wheel might just be under rated.
These skeins consist of handspun hand dyed polwarth plied with a myriad of goodies both textured and glittery!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

REMEMBER WHEN?

Remember when you played with Elmer's Glue?
.... making up sample sheets for an upcoming workshop today. I had forgotten how much fun it is to arrange and rearrange, then tack things into place with a big 'ol glob of Elmer's.
..... If you happen to be having a creatively "stuck"day go back to what you loved most about being a child. Play a little. You may just be surprised at what comes of it.

Friday, March 05, 2010

WEE WOOLY CUTIE

I had the best surprise yesterday. My friend Anne Marie had asked if I would make up a hat and scarf set for her grand daughter this Christmas. I knit up a hat using various wools, alpaca and other such goodies then wove a scarf to match. Yesterday Anne Marie brought me a picture of this little sweetie all decked out in woolens!
What a treat!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

NEWS

From Moncton THIS WEEK, CanadaEast.com:

Published Thursday March 4th, 2010

London-Wul is winning awards

By Margaret Patricia Eaton

Set in an enchanted forest is a charming studio/workshop. It's an oasis of colourful warmth and one-of-a-kind art work inspired by nature and gentle animals. Outside snow falls silently; inside a spinning wheel softly whirrs.

Click to Enlarge
PHOTOS BY M.P. EATON
Heidi Wulfraat’s original design, hand-hooked rug, ‘Angus’ returned to Canada with the People’s Choice Award from ‘Hooked in the Mountains’ show in Shelburne, Vermont in 2009.

No, this is not the beginning of a fairy tale. The enchanted forest does exist. It's on the Melanson Road in Lakeburn, just past Dieppe, and the magical studio is the London-Wul Fibre Arts Centre, brain-child of Heidi Wulfraat.

Wulfraat is an artisan and a practical visionary. Weaving together varied strands from her life experience and proceeding step-by-step, she's produced a commercially viable and award-winning business. From her mother and grandmother she learned an appreciation for textiles.

"Needlework was prominent in our home in Montreal where my mother and grandmother did high-end embroidery," she says. "My father was a professional photographer. I spent a lot of time in his studio and see things through his lens. It's all about structure and design, position and proportion."

Wulfraat didn't study art or design following high school, however, and instead earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in animal behavior. She says, "Then I started a farm from scratch, but because I love animals I wanted it to be a no-kill, no-sell environment and things just kind of progressed from there." Farm animals still have to earn their keep and hers are no exception. The herd of 18 sheep, all traditional breeds with heavy coats, and the small, delicate angora goats, are shorn twice a year. Once the fleece is washed, carded and dyed, it's ready for spinning. The problem was the new farmer didn't know how.

So in 1996 Wulfraat put it on her "to-do" list. She says, "I apprenticed myself to Betty Adams at the St. James' Textile Museum in Dorchester and spent as much time as I could learning from her. She's extremely knowledgeable and everything she says rings true."

The following year, Wulfraat began to build her business, selling handspun yarn on the internet, filling orders from across the country. As business increased, her husband Arnold London, a supplier of fine lumber, built the workshop/boutique in 1999 and since then it's been full-steam ahead for the London-Wul Fibre Arts Centre.

There are many strands which combine to make this centre a success. There's the boutique where shoppers can find handcrafted woolen wear, exceptional fibre art works and premium fibre art supplies, including knitting needles hand turned from exotic woods by London. There's the interpretive hand spinning museum where visitors can delve into the ancient history of the craft; the gallery which spotlights Atlantic Canadian artists in a series of month-long exhibitions; and of course, there's the workshop with work-in-progress.

In addition, Wulfraat and her staff of five employees offer regularly scheduled workshops in various aspects of fibre arts, conduct guided tours and invite knitters and spinners to drop by for an afternoon of sharing skills.

In 2004 the London-Wul Fibre Arts Centre was honoured with an invitation to be part of the International ÉCONOMUSÉE (Artisans-at-Work) Network. Two years later it received the Tourism Excellence Award for the Best New Business of the year, presented by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.

"After I started the internet business 13 years ago, it took some years to get the business built up to the point where I could spend time creating my unique fibre art pieces, which take months to complete," she says.

By 2006, however, she was receiving commissions for work to be presented to the French and Belgian consulates and to Karen Kain and Robert Bateman, as well as invitations to exhibit her pieces in both Canada and the U.S.

Both animals and nature provide inspiration for Wulfraat's work.

"The animals give me so much," she says, "they're my muses and they're an integral part of everything I do."

The influence of the woods and water surrounding the workshop is evident in the stunning room divider screens, for sale, which use sheets of felted white wool, on which paint is applied softly to suggest the landscape, while embroidered stems and leaves achieve a three-dimensional effect.

In December 2009, two of Wulfraat's hand hooked rugs won the People's Choice Award at a show in Vermont, over 600 other entries.

"One features Captain Fantastic, our border collie and the other is of Angus, our Newfoundland dog, based on a photograph I took of him at Rockport, at the head of the Bay of Fundy. We love it there. It's such a special place," she says.

And so is London-Wul, just 15 minutes out of Moncton.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

FINISHED FEBRUARY

Confession time. I have been courting Louis Comfort Tiffany for the past few years.
Here is my last February project, which I did actually finish in the eleventh hour.
A fun piece which kept me hopeful for spring these past few weeks.
Am I calling it off with Louis? I don't think so. Not for a while yet.
Arn is OK with it, so all's well ;)

hooked Rug: approx. 2 feet x 3 feet
(This rug has no border. It is mounted on black backing for display)


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