The first time I saw someone sticking something very tiny repeatedly into a mass of wool fiber I was confused. What was happening? What was that in their hand? I’d never seen anything like it. I asked a few questions and soon learned that a very sharp barbed needle was in hand and that as the wool was repeatedly stabbed, it was sticking together; as different colors were introduced, something marvelous emerged. Felting is a fiber art form that has become a favorite at Fiber College!
I’ve seen some amazing felting artists and Kris Weyrick-Scott is among the best. Her work is fantastic and fresh. Her students in last year’s class had a ball and we are pleased to welcome Kris back for her second year at Fiber College. This year she’ll teach a two-part Fantasy Felted Mask class (Fri afternoon and Saturday afternoon) and a Felted Jelly Fish Light class on Sunday morning. Let’s meet Kris! And then you can sign up for one or both of her classes right here.
As we celebrate the tenth year of our Fiber College community, tell us about how community plays a part in your life as a fiber artist.
Community is quite important to me as an Artist. I belong to a wonderful Crafters Co-op in New Hampshire where the members inspire, teach, and help each other in their various mediums. I find comfort in being around creative people, and seeing them work helps me grow in what I do. One of the special things about the co-op is that monthly donations are made to non-profits in the community. As we support local charities, they in turn bring business our way, so it has become a synchronous circle.
What keeps you coming back to Fiber College? How is FC different from other teaching venues? What’s your favorite thing about Fiber College?
I enjoy the community of Fiber College-creative people coming together. Last year I taught and it was my first time attending FC in any role. What surprised (and delighted me greatly) was, while I was prepared to share my knowledge, I didn’t realize that I would gain as much in return! It’s a very nurturing and supportive atmosphere and people give freely of their expertise, not only in the classrooms and demonstrations, but also just in casual conversations.
You’ve hit a roadblock and need to get back into your creative groove. How would you do that?
It’s essential for me to continue learning to combat burnout and creative blocks. Although I love teaching, I’ve found that occasionally I need to recharge my creative battery by being a student again. Sometimes within my genre, which is felting, but sometimes totally outside of it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of Artists and Craftsmen. I love taking classes and feel that every time I do, no matter what the medium, it gives me something new to bring into my work as a Fiber Artist and Instructor.
Tell us about a proud moment you’ve had as a result of your students’ efforts.
It’s always a proud moment for me when I see one of my Students take what they’ve learned from one of my workshops and apply it in their own way to something new. I lead a monthly felting club (we call it Sit & Stab) so once a month I get to see what they’ve been working on and every month I’m delighted! Last month, I had a student notify me that she couldn’t make it to Sit &Stab because she was busy… she was being awarded 1st place in an art show for a wall felting she had made! It was a proud moment indeed!
What project of yours has surprised you the most and why?
One of my favorite skills is mask making. I think there is a mystery in being able to conceal yourself in such a temporary way. I’ve made dozens through the years, but my favorite was my first felted mask–a ram’s head. I liked it and thought it was a fun project, but I was overwhelmed when it was bought to be on permanent display at the Madison Museum of Fine Arts in Georgia. It was then that I realized that we Crafters (a term I use with great pride) are also Creators, Makers, and yes, Artists.
Who has had the greatest impact on your work as an artist?
There are many people that have had an impact on my works, but the greatest impact has been from my family. My Mother is an Artist and her Mother was an Artist. My Grandmother was a Landscape Painter and my Mother is an Award Winning Wood Carver. I was brought up surrounded by creativity and was always supported in that journey. I am blessed that my art pursuits travel hand in hand with my Mother’s. Although wool and wood seem like very different mediums, we often find ourselves working on similar projects (we both have an affinity for birds) and brainstorm strategies to help each other. She is amazing in what she does and is what I aspire to be, both as an Artist and as a person.
How do you ensure plenty of time to be an artist?
Time management can be difficult not only for someone who makes their living in the arts, but for even the casual Crafter/Artist. It makes me think of a Dr. Seuss quote, “How did it get to be so late, so soon?” When we do what we love, time flies by quickly, but it’s easy to let other areas of our life take precedence. I dedicate studio time in on my personal schedule and my family’s calendar…written in pen not pencil. That way it doesn’t get pushed aside as easily. I try to stay organized so I’m not spending half my studio time looking for materials and can make the most out of my limited time allotment. It’s a balancing act– juggling my three F’s (family, friends, and felting), but it’s a life that I choose, I love, and I look forward to for many years to come.
What’s the most important thing that you want potential students to know about you?
I want my Students to know how much I love teaching, and I strive to make it fun. I like the confidence that comes with doing something well. At the beginning of a workshop, I often hear, “Oh, I’ll never be able to make one as good as yours.” I love to see the surprised faces when they realize that they actually did make the project come out looking like the class sample…or better. I encourage everyone to make the class project their own and if they are moved to bring it in a different direction…I get excited! That’s when the learning process comes full circle and I learn from them.
Feel free to visit Kris’ website- www.feltpals.com for information.