Artist statement

northern lights bowl

Life interfered with an early interest in fiber arts- spinning, natural dyes, weaving- as I progressed through graduate school, marriage, family and a long career as a psychotherapist. Midlife, we relocated from Ann Arbor, where I had been a member of the Handweavers Guild, to Chicago. From country mouse to city mouse, I felt lost until I found a new career as a wildlife and conservation educator at the Lincoln Park Zoo and new venues for pursuing my passion for creating with natural fibers. I used my time in Chicago to study, exhibit and then teach nuno wool/silk felting. As I worked with wools, silks and dyes, I found it to be the perfect combination of form and function. Something that can be airy and delicate can also be sturdy, strong, insulating and waterproof. In some parts of the world, wool is still turned to felt to make nomadic housing or “yurts”.sheep

To start with raw animal fiber and move it through the centuries old techniques of felting it into a piece of wearable art or a vessel with colors that mimic nature is a real joy for me. Oftentimes the process begins right in a barn where I choose the sheepʼs wool and then, working with a myriad of textures and colors and feeling the fibers turn to felt, step by step, is both ethereal and earthy at the same time.

Here in St. Petersburg, I teach fiber arts at the Morean Arts Center and I also volunteer at the raptor aviary at Boyd Hill Nature Park. We have a second home in Asheville, NC and next year I will begin teaching classes in fiber arts there and working with the Red Wolf Recovery Project and the WNC Nature Center.

Vicki Bennett, fiber artist

3 responses to “Artist statement

  1. Hello Vicki,
    I am admiring your beautiful work…..Facinated by the felted bowls esp.since they do not require kniting first. I live in Atlanta so maybe Ashville would be the closest place to attend classes on wet felt techniques.

    Please advise when & where you will be in NC.

    Many Thanks & Happy New Year!

    Lori

  2. I am also interested in knowing if and when yo will be in North Carolina to teach some classes. I am very interested in learning wet felting. I cannot find anyone in the area who offers classes. I am in the Raleigh area. Thank you

    Dawn

  3. Vicki this is you! How do you find such time ot blog?

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