February Fibre Madness

Local fibre artist Terry Irvine gave herself a challenge this past month to beat the notorious  February doldrums:

“I set myself a couple of goals for the month of February. The first one was to produce a fibre product each day. The second was to document and photograph the products. The third was to upload the photos onto my computer and share them with friends who would like to see my progress and share in the madness. I figured by the end of the month, I’ll have a nice cache of smaller items for the farmers’ market and be more computer literate in terms of uploading and sharing photos.”

Irvine is the founder of The RipOff Artists, a local multi-media co-operative that chooses the work of a famous artist to “rip off” each year, each in their own artistic medium. Terry Irvine works with a variety of yarns, spinning, crocheting, knitting, and felting to create wonderful three-dimensional pieces of art. She was inspired by fellow Rip Off artist Thea Haubrich (of Twin Lakes Encaustic Art) who set herself the goal of doing an encaustic (wax) piece once a day for a month in the spring of 2010.

By the first week’s end, Terry found herself easily mastering the fibre portion of the February Fibre Madness project, but stymied by the computer:

“I’ve an interesting (and annoying) dilemma on my hands.I can get my photos from the camera to the computer, but the computer won’t accept them. A nice little photo preview shows on the computer screen followed by a statement that talks about the program not being initialized. Then the photos disappear. Sigh…..My plan is to call in the professional who is a Mac master in the Oliver area. With any luck he’ll be able to come over this upcoming week. In the meantime, I’m continuing with the knitting, crocheting, spinning, etc. Oh yeah, and the taking pictures.”

Problem quickly solved with phonecalls to some computer-savvy girlfriends, the photos soon arrived. See below for just a few samples from Terry’s daily photo diary:

Photo 1: A ‘sitster’ fibre artist using handspun yarns, bead & pipe cleaners.












Photo 2: Free-form crocheted flower using handspun (orange) & Hempwol (green). To be felted, beaded in the centre and made into a brooch.

Photo 3: A gym bag for my mat, weights and elastic. Crocheted, waiting for the washing machine and felting.

Photo 4: I hand felted the bowl in about 10 minutes. The red and purple yarns were knitted using a slip stitch pattern. Both yarns shrank up very quickly. I was aiming for a container to put business cards in, but ended up with a bowl that was ever so slightly too small. Back to the drawing board…

Photo 5 and 6: One of several fabric flower designs. The first few Terry made were for brooches. This one, as she describes,  “is bigger and meant to hold small objects rather than be worn as a brooch.”  

Got the blues? Why not set yourself an artistic challenge!