I have felt the need to create art that aids in a personal healing process, art created for people on grief journeys from the loss of a loved one. Art is healing similarly to a memorial service; it tells the story of someone's life uniquely! And, it's incredibly compelling knowing the hand weaved material is selected from the loved one's personal collection. Ironically, COVID-19 provided me with the push I needed to actually respond to my need to merge fiber art and healing. And I am thrilled to now share my artistic pivot in that direction.
Presently on the loom, I am weaving a memorial fiber wall sculpture using clothing from a client's late husband. We chose clothing that spoke to his nature, his lab coat, T-shirts from running events, and Carhart pants!
I created another memorial weaving in honor of Edward Weidner, founding chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He was infamous for his 400+ necktie collection and was known to be a people person! I wove three-figure image panels for tapestry, incorporating his vibrant neckties as my weft material!
A dear to me patron commissioned me to create a mixed textile vessel to honor his son. He brought pieces of driftwood to my gallery that had been collected the last time he saw his son. His son had gone on an extensive winter mountain climb, and sadly, he never returned. I constructed a lighted tree vessel to represent his son's continued spirit and incorporated the driftwood.
Lastly, The Clearing Folk Art School commissioned me to create a memorial wall hanging in tribute to Mertha Fulkerson. Mertha had devoted her life to helping founder Jen Jensen run the Clearing and kept it going after his death. I re-purposed her handwoven fabric from the '40s through the '60s and rewove it to create a fiber wall sculpture to honor her hard work and efforts to save the Clearing.
Do you have someone you want to honor? Or do you have a family member or friend who might find this art form helpful in their grief journey? I would be happy to explore the possibilities if so. It starts with a simple conversation: you introduce me to your loved one, and I help envision the possibilities. There won't be any pressure to move forward with a commission until you are ready...or not.
Thank you, and best wishes for continued health and safety.
Sincerely, Wendy Carpenter
(920) 857-7379 cell
Interfibers Studio Gallery | 9204 Silk Road | Fish Creek, WI 54212