Artwork by Pamela A. McGregor
Pamela A. MacGregor, Feltmaker
I am a retired middle school art teacher with a biology background. The combination of these two have made a huge impact on my art work and where I find most of my inspiration.
Interestingly enough, when I studied art at Bowling Green State University, my main area of interest was ceramics and metals. I never had a hint of interest in taking a fibers class. Many years later, and on a whim, I took my first felting class in 2004. I fell in love with the instant gratification, cleanliness of soap and wool and the versatility of felt. It is the only medium in which I can make jewelry, rugs, sculptural work and clothing out of the same basic material. The engineering possibilities of taking a soft, airy material and making it into a hard sculptural form by simply using soap, water and manipulation was totally exciting.
My approach to making felt vessels is non traditional and much like my approach when making ceramic vessels. I want them to be extremely clean, precise, crafted well and balanced. I use many of my early ceramic techniques on my felt vessels. I begin with a sketch but quite often the felt takes me off on an adventure all it’s own. Every vessel or sculptural form is a learning experience and will push me further in my exploration of felt making.
Over the years I find I am using more mixed media in my felt work. As I grow as a felter/artist, I am integrating different fibers as well as found objects into my work, such as the rusty wire, bones, bullet casings, my horses mane and interesting plant pods. Hardware stores, thrift stores and recycle centers are my new playground and where I find many of my supplies.
I feel 2018 will bring a new transition in my life as a felter. I am turning 70, becoming more interested in sculptural wall pieces and I plan to retire from national and international teaching. I will continue to teach private lessons out of my studio and spend more time with my very patient husband who has encouraged my teaching all over the world for weeks at a time.