Jude Hill’s introduction photo to her Spirit Cloth 101 free and open tutorial
One of the best aspects of the “gift of fire” that is the Internet is the generosity of artists who share their passion. For free. As a wannabe fiber artist, I happily discovered Jude Hill – she freely gives her expertise, her thoughts and vision, and her extensive library of online lessons about creating personal statements in fiber.
Jude Hill – completed study
Her blog itself is called Spirit Cloth and the free lesson site within it is – Feel Free! It’s perfect for people who want to experience the idea of fiber art by working on small pieces and learning techniques while incorporating interesting concepts. Like cats! Like magic! Like magic cats!
Jude Hill “Conjure”
And . . . she grows her own Indigo!
Samples of indigo – Jude Hill
Take a look around Jude’s blog site – it’s packed with ideas and inspiration, and not just for fiber artists. I found myself sketching some nifty ideas for cat spirit dolls after I looked at some of her creations. There’s a place on her site to donate if you feel so inclined. I did. This is what she wrote about her teaching and sharing:
Here, at THIS place I call Feel Free, I intend to share something beyond the “thing”. Feel Free to look around and use what I share. Feel free to share this place with others. THIS is my gift. THIS is not a business.
With Trust and Peace.
Isn’t that perfect for a day when we think about the concept of freedom? Free to share, free to learn. Happy Independence Day, everyone.
Color sketch by Jude Hill
OK, so I’m rather taken with cats. Or taken by cats. Whatever. But some of the most enjoyable small art pieces I’ve done lately are cat spirit figures – sorta like Spirit Dolls with cat heads. As part of this, I’ve been informally researching cats in mythology – they have been around a long time and have always been considered pretty weird and magical. For example, did you know that Ceridwen, the Welsh goddess of wisdom, was attended by white cats who carried out her orders on Earth? Or that, in Islam tradition, dogs are considered unclean, but cats – who frequently bury their own waste and rarely eat another animal’s feces – are not. I like that “rarely” part – I mean, a cat’s gonna do what a cat’s gonna do.
My new favorite cat story is about Freya, the Norse goddess of love and fertility and the wife of Odr (who disappeared right after they got married, but that’s another story). She rode in a chariot pulled by two Norwegian Forest Cats or Skogkatts. Here’s the photo to prove it, taken on the spot – and the cats look pretty happy about the whole idea. No wonder it’s a myth.
I loved the idea of Freya’s cats, though, and my latest piece is called just that, Freya’s Cat. This is a powerful cat, rough-and-ready, able to pull chariots, leap tall buildings, or row boats (should Freya want to travel across a Fjord). This guy carries around a bunch of protective charms, just in case. I think he’s a pretty cool cat. Nice kitty!
“Freya’s Cat” – Mixed Media Assemblage – Lyn Belisle – 2014
“Freya’s Cat” (detail)