The Gnomes

The Gnomes
the gnomes

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How Long Did It Take You to Make That?

I get asked the how long questions a lot. I am not sure why it is so important to people to know...are they trying to figure out if it is worth the money I am asking? Or for them time equals artistry?
Or they are wondering can I make that? There are times folks who are dabbling in needle felting and wet felting come by my tent with a friend and loudly exclaim, oh I can do that, I have seen better or I can do better as they pick up my work and set it back down again. There are the knitters who assume that my wet felted work is also knit and thrown in the washing machine and they tell their companions how I make that hat or scarf or slipper. When I try to politely interrupt and tell them how something is actually made by wet felting wool roving they look at me with disbelief.
Needle felting generates the same question too. I had an art opening on Friday.
The number one question was how did you make that and the second was how long did it take for you to make that...
I fortunately had brought my needle sculpting foam, wool and needles to show and let people try it. Ohhhhhh... was the response I got and "Wow I had no idea that wool could be sculpted".

Yes all those sculptures, fairy houses, terrariums and masks start out with a fluff of wool and a needle. So if you can imagine stabbing and rolling and manipulating wool until it becomes solid with a couple of needles you can surmise how long it may take. When I am working on a piece I  end up in a zone where I lose track of time. I don't time myself though maybe I should. I tried a couple of times and found that even my simplest small items can take me up to an hour to make.
A statue can be 15 to 16 hours, a mask about the same depending on its complexity. Fairy houses and slippers will take several days to make. Most hats will take 8 to 10 hours to make depending on the design and then you add the drying and shaping time it can add another day.
After all needle sculpting and wet felting is Art. When you look at a painting or a sculpture out of stone or clay do you ask the artist " how long did it take you to make that?" I am pretty sure most people don't. I think that because fiber art is an unknownthe question arises to justify it artistically. Hopefully in this post I have explained it so that question has now been resolved. If not let me know and I will be happy to try to expand upon it in my next blog post.

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