My friend and fiber/graphic artist Maggie Pace visited the home studio of Lynn Ocone. I saw a piece of hers at a party in my neighborhood a few weeks prior and knew immediately that I needed to know more about her work. This is a world that Maggie knows much better so I took the photos and Maggie wrote the captions about the work. It was all so stunning and interested I could hardly even formulate appropriate questions. Thank goodness Maggie was with me on the studio visit to Lynn’s home.. Maggie has a site to purchase knitting patterns www.pickupsticksonline.com and a blog about her own creative projects. Maggiepace.com. Thank you Maggie for your words, they tell a great story about the process and pieces I had the privilege of photographing.
Thank you Lynn for generously giving us your time and sharing your work. It is always inspiring to see the work and to gain greater understanding about any creative process. I hope our paths cross again.
Lynn created this stone by wrapping roving (unspun) wool around a stone with a spherical object tucked inside. She rubbed the wool with her fingers (probably for hours — very meditative) to felt, then cut out the interior object, revealing the depression at the top of the stone.
This is an example of Nuno felting, where roving wool (blue) is layered upon silk (green). Lynn lays the wool in several layers on top of the silk, which sits on a sheet of bubble wrap. When her design is set, she sprinkles it with a mixture of water and soap and rolls the whole thing up — imagine a cinnamon roll log before it’s sliced. She then fuses the layers together by working the “log” back and forth using a rolling-pin motion. The agitation causes the wool to shrink and fuse into the silk, which creates the pucker texture. It can take hours of agitation (all the while adding increasingly hot water), to get the level of fusion desired.
This piece is another example of Nuno felting in terms of materials and process, but reveals Lynn’s signature experimentation with the medium. The work is made of a blend of printed and non-printed silk fabric fused together with roving wool. The unusual way she built the layers of the silk and roving created a piece that reads more like printed fabric versus the highly texturized look typical of nuno felt. The piece must have been huge before she felted it. Also it must have taken hours upon hours of rolling it, then beating it, to get the fibers so deeply interlocked.
This piece is a great example of the versatility of Nuno felting. The possibilities are endless based on the choice of raw materials and the level of felting. The color spots are roving wool and the white background is silk.
Lynn created the boots by rolling together multiple layers of wet, raw wool. These boots are an example of wet felting versus nuno felting. Nuno felting is when silk or another fabric is blended together with roving wool, which creates a lightweight, ethereal fabric, like the green and blue shawl shown here. The boots are pure wool. The circle design is “needle felted” into the boot fabric after it is already felted. In other words, bits of roving wool are pushed through the boot fabric with quickly pulsing needles. This quick action makes the roving “stick” to the boot fabric.
This was one of Lynn’s first felted pieces! Amazing. You can’t tell it here, but this rug is about an inch thick. Lynn must have piled on at least three-inches worth of raw layers before fusing them together via wet-felting in order to get create a rug this thick.
Lynn in her studio. Lynn helps create classes and workshop opportunities at Northeast Fiber Arts center in Williston, Vermont. www.northeastfiberarts.com.