Art on the Farm!

Today my family and I went to an art show on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There are several local artists and artisans who make ecologically sustainable products, from the Shore Girls Bath Co., who make all-organic soap, to artist Buck Doughty, who makes his sculptures out of scrap metal.

This sculpture was made entirely out of previously used metal, mostly trash. Doughty gave me a tour of the pieces that went into it, including the steering column of a car and a length of metal chain.

This wool comes from Hog Island sheep, an heirloom breed. Their owner, Meredith Restein, spent a few minutes telling me about the hand-felting she does with this yarn. The price tag was part of what drew my interest; $4 for home-grown, hand-carded wool is remarkable. Far more incredible, though, are the things that Restein makes with said wool:

These hangings have a primitive feel and are made by rolling wet wool on “any surface”: Restein says that she’s used yoga mats and towels.  Meredith Restein is interested in the environmental impact of her work, in creating useful and beautiful things, and in preserving the lineage of her historical sheep. Incredible!

Finally, I met the Shore Girls, who make their own soap. They use all natural colors and flavors like lavender and cocoa and wrap their soap in seed paper and hemp string.

I got a lot of ideas from these sellers. One of the things they all had in common was that they were all so enthusiastic about their products and loved talking about the materials and techniques that went into them. I got a lot of business cards and a lot of invitations to call people up and ask them more in-depth questions later. In the next few weeks I hope to call Meredith Restein and see if she’d be interested in writing out a tutorial for her wall hangings. If nothing else, I hope to go home and try it myself. I have an idea for making stretched “animal skins” out of felt.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kat
    May 30, 2010 @ 18:56:34



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