‘It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world…and at peace with myself.’ ~ Nelson Mandela
Nicola Brown and I (Dawn Edwards) have been friends for a number of years, meeting long ago over the internet through our love of feltmaking. We have had great fun during our years of getting to know one another along with visits to one another’s homes/countries, having just recently spent several weeks together…I at her house, she at mine. During this time, we of course discussed this year’s Felt United theme. We’ve really enjoyed the color and elemental themes of years past, but thought that it might be a good time to put forth a more subjective theme. What we came up with: ‘Peace’ inspired by Nelson Mandela. We feel that it is a very relevant topic, and one that offers you much artistic freedom, and at the same time, it is a theme that will require some thought.
Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95, and many of us have been drawn to one of his great legacies, ‘Peace’. Mandela showed us how to disarm violence, and demonstrated great strength and conviction in the doing. His greatest legacy was the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. Somehow, even in the midst of hatred and/or despair, and living more than a quarter of his life in confinement, he preferred nonviolent protest actions, coupled with conviction, strength and dignity. What an amazing human being, and though he has left us, his spirit will continue to guide us.
We hope that you will be inspired by this year’s theme and we look forward to seeing your photos and hearing how you might celebrate International Felt United Day. Felt United is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in October…this year’s date being October 4, 2014. Have you begun to make plans yet? Perhaps an exhibition, a collaborative effort, or a gathering with other feltmakers to share your love of felting, or ????? The possibilities are endless. Once you decide, be sure to paste a link to your event on the Felt United Events page.
When adding your photos to the Felt United Facebook page, if it’s not readily apparent how your submission relates to the ‘Peace’ theme, please add a short explanation. We have many, many talented artists in our group and I envision numerous creative interpretations on the theme. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind over at the Facebook Felt United page at times….we’ve been growing by leaps and bounds – now at over 4,200 members – and as always happens with rapid growth, we’re still trying to navigate how best to keep up with the growth and change. We’re very pleased with the growth of Felt United, but you can imagine that Nicola and I are limited by the amount of time that we are able to spend on the computer on any given day (we receive no pay as page administrators, so do need to work in order to put food on the table and wool in our stash 😉 , so we do delete photos that don’t appear to be in keeping with the theme. Our apologies if we’ve ever deleted a photo that was related, but not readily apparent to us. Your adding a short explanation to your photos will really help us out.
Also, just a few reminders, newly implemented this year…so if you haven’t checked the membership rules recently, you may not be aware of these:
“Acceptance into the Felt United group indicates that you agree only to post pictures of felt inspired by the current theme, ‘Peace’, and we ask that when posting pictures, to please make sure to leave a short note describing the ‘Peace’ connection/inspiration. Please do not upload images with links to selling sites and also limit the volume of images that you post so as to give equal access to everyone. We ask that you give due consideration and thought into what you post and make this a meaningful experience for all. Our request for 2014 is that you limit your photos to no more than three images per submission and we would appreciate not more than one submission per week to be uploaded by any individual member due to the rapid expansion of our group. Thank you.”
I love Jan Waller’s thoughts on this year’s theme. I’ll share a snippet of her note. She states, ‘I think we will see a much wider range of work this year, the theme is much more subjective and I for one welcome it, otherwise we will just have hundreds of doves and peace signs. This is a great theme that allows artists to open up their minds and interpret……I don’t mind explaining how my work fits into the theme, but I also don’t want to be spoon fed what to think of another artist’s work – I like artwork to make me think….we will see a lot more of that this time around. It does raise an interesting question – is it for the artist to explain or for the viewer to interpret?’ Great question and thoughts Jan….Can’t wait to see your submission.
In closing….a little video that I think you’ll enjoy….at about the four-minute mark you will hear Nelson Mandela’s quote, ‘’It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world…and at peace with myself.’ Nelson Mandela will live on as a symbol of peace, hope, and of change for so many around the world.
Here’s to creativity, peace, worldwide friendships, and of course, feltmaking. Looking forward to your 2014 Felt United interpretations.
Together, we Felt United,
Dawn Edwards and Nicola Brown
Your Felt United Administrators