September 1, 2014
June 14, 2014
February 12, 2014
While on a new quest for 2014 to find unique and talented artisans to feature on our Creative Chicks Café blog, I found a portrait of a stunning women on Facebook caught my attention. Her eyes were looking into my soul, they were beautiful and reminded me of my mother's eyes. She looked proud and prominent, but her eyes shown sadness and sorrow. It was not a photograph, or a painting. Rather a portrait created from wool fibre and I was mesmerized by this unique talent and I wanted to learn more. We are honored to connect with Jill Harrison, and share her story.
|Jill Harrison, Wool Fibre Artist|
I was born in 1956, just outside the wool textile city of Bradford, Yorkshire U.K. where I lived with Mum and Dad and three brothers in the same village that the famous Bronte Sisters were born that is Thornton. In fact, I went to school just a few yards away from the house that they were born in! I had a happy childhood and my memories were that of riding horses and playing on farms. I had always been artistic as a child and spent a lot of time drawing.
After leaving school, I went on to study Graphic Art at Bradford College of Art, unfortunately I left college before finishing the course to have a baby and did not pursue my art until years later when I returned to college part time to study Sculpture.
After my four children had grown up and gone their own ways, I moved to Scotland. I now live in rural Aberdeenshire on a smallholding with my second husband and my grandson. We have lived here for 8years now and we moved here to follow our dream of having land and being able to have the many animals that we love. Horses, goats, chickens and of course the sheep .
We wanted the rare breed Hebridean sheep and the beautiful small Shetland sheep, which are both native to our region. The Hebridean's have black fleece, but they range in shades of brown, cream and even white as they age . The Shetlands have the most beautiful, soft wool which is famous for the extremely fine garments which can be knitted with it. They are both hardy little creatures and tend not to need much doing with them .
When I bought my small flock, little did I know how these lovely little animals would change my life. I didn't know anything about textile art until 4years ago, when after a sheep shearing I decided to have a go at felting!
I bought myself a little book and followed instructions, my initial attempts were fun but very crude. I soon grew tired of 'abusing' the fibre, it was hard work! Instead, I started to 'paint' with fibre, carding the wool and laying it in very fine layers ,building up my images like a painting.
I was inspired by film stars and pop idols and later silent movie queens the haunting images of beautiful, but tragic looking women whom they portrayed . I was excited with the whole process researching their backgrounds and then recreating their dramatic beauty with my own wool. They just grew as if by magic.
I still love doing my portraits, but also draw inspiration from the sheep themselves and have made wool images of them in different positions as they move around the fields. My work and technique have progressed somewhat since I first started. I now dye my wool and blend the subtle colors as I work to create a more interesting finish. The final stage is placing the finished image between glass and board, this produces the 'painterly' look which I favor.
I work in my “Crofters Cottage,” everyday. At first it was just for my own satisfaction, but after being featured in various newspapers and on Scottish T.V. News. I have been selling pieces to individual collectors, interior designers as well as gettingmore commissions to do.
I have had exhibitions in U.K and Italy and some of my work is in Galleries. I am now venturing into the world of Fibre Festivals. I have been asked by many people all over the world to do workshops but I am afraid I have declined. Not because I don't want to share my technique, but because I am just too shy. I would be no good at standing up in front of a group and talking about my work.
I have a few questions for Jill to help you get to know a bit more about the artist . 1. Question: What is the most significant decision you ever made? 1. Answer: Moving up here to Scotland. 2. Question: What is your favorite food? 2. Answer: That's easy...cheese. I don't eat meat so cheese is good. 3. Question: What things make you laugh the most? 3. Answer: Usually everyday occurrences, silly things that others don't see. 4. Question: Who is your favorite artist? 4. Answer: I bought my husband a book for Christmas, Henry Moore's Sheep Sketchbook. It is made up of squiggles without taking pen from paper. Exquisite sketches of sheep which I actually prefer to his more monumental sculptures. 5. Question: If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? 5. Answer: I would upgrade our home to incorporate a big studio space and also a gallery in which my husband and I could work alongside one another. Each of us would feature our own art and also host other artists work. 6. Question: What words of advice would you have for someone starting out? 6. Answer: Never stop dreaming, even when you get knocked back. Have fun creating your own ideas straight from your heart.
To see more of Jill Harrison's work, please visit her links and send a LIKE to her Facebook page from CCC.
December 31, 2013
October 1, 2013
|Creative Chicks Café Club|
While the town of Afton Minnesota celebrated their 35th Annual Art in the Park Festival, the Old School Art School Studio had it's own party going on. By invitation only, our artisans put on the performance of a lifetime. We had arts, crafts, live music and free food sampling. Our missions is to find people with unique talents whom inspire others with their God given talents. Handmade all day, original, passionate and inspirational. The majority of us are entering the second half of our lives. The kids are gone and a spare bedroom becomes available, a corner in the basement opens up. Or even a darn shed in the back yard has been turned into a studio. For most of us, we work a full-time job and evenings and weekends are our time to create. To create with your hands and than "Wow" people with your talents is the greatest gift an artisan can give.
Join us on Facebook and send a LIKE our way. Take a moment to see our photos from our Fall festival held this past weekend.
September 21, 2013
August 9, 2013
June 2, 2013
Mark your calendar for June 22 & 23 for the Afton Strawberry Art and Craft Festival.
Visit Kate Sullivan at the Old School Art Studio and meet the Creative Chicks Café creators and Artisans.
April 29, 2013
Saturday, April 27th we had a 'Banner" of a day. Gloria Popowitz from Creative Canvas hosted our Welcome Door Banner painting class at The Old School Art Studio, home of Creative Chicks Café.
|(left to right) Jenny, Bonnie, Pam, Kate, Eileen, Patty|
We welcomed our first beautiful day of spring in Minnesota filled with inspiration and fun. We even created a video to honor Gloria on our Facebook pages for her instructional, teaching performance. Click on the link below.
|Gloria Popowitz, Creative Canvas Artist, Instructor|
|Jenny Edwards, Creative Chicks Cafe|
|Patty Sullivan, Creative Chicks Cafe|
|Bonnie Jo Rohow|
March 30, 2013
Easter did not always symbolize Christ's resurrection from the dead and the meaning of Easter was quite different than what Christians celebrate today. The feast day of Easter was originally a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. Celebrated in the early spring, it honored the pagan Saxon goddess Eastre.
|Goddess of Spring|
Today, the meaning of Easter, for million of Christians, is that of honoring and recognizing Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, and His glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Him.
February 21, 2013
Treasure hunting in Nashville....
Last weekend, Feb. 13 – 16th, in Nashville I attended an awesome antique show near the Grand Ol Opry. The Fiddler Hotel was host to over 90 antique dealers. Each dealer was given a room on the first floor to open up shop.
My particular interest this weekend was to find vintage jewelry and religious medallions and rosaries to use in creating unique bohemian jewelry pieces.
In one of the shops I found a beautiful silver bowl filled with religious medallions. As I was sorting through this bowl I found a wonderful St. Christopher medal. It was a larger than a quarter and had a wonderful image and patina. I purchased this along with several other medallions. Yesterday while taking a closer look. I turned over the medal and there was an imprint on it that read “To FC From Bishop Choi.”
My first thought, who is Bishop Choi and who is FC and how did this medal come to play? So, I googled Bishop Choi and found that he was a Priest, Bishop and Archbishop in Pusan, South Korea, from 1962-1973, during the same time period of the Vietnam War. There are many stories circulating the internet about these Vietnam-era-medals issued by Bishop Choi. The St. Christopher medal was often attached to a rosary and had the initials of the serviceman hand-stamped on the back of them by the Bishop’s assistants. So cool, imagine my medal has already been stamped, especially for a certain serviceman.
Now the question is, ‘How much is my hand-stamped St. Christopher medal worth?” Through research, I have discovered that since the death of Bishop Choi in 2008 these St. Christopher Medals have become highly sought after collectables. The medals alone without the rosaries are worth anywhere from 15.00 to 65.00, some medals value in the hundreds. One particular medal is said to have been given to John F. Kennedy. Bishop Choi sent him one while he was President and unlike most of the medals, which only have the first and last initial stamped on it, President Kennedy’s had “JFK”.
Call it what you want, treasure hunting, dumpster diving, picking, or even being a modern archaeologist. I love it! Meeting the collectors and antique dealers on this memorabilia- seeking mission was truly a history lesson, providing a distance glimpse into the past.
But, this was not the only treasure I uncovered. Check back to see some of the other pieces I acquired…………
February 13, 2013
January 1, 2013
December 22, 2012
November 20, 2012
October 28, 2012
These are the great people that made this possible: Sponsored by Selema's Ice Cream Parlour, Valley Orthodontics and the Afton Business Association. Who gave out treats?