20 September 2017

New work

I have been a bit behind in posting on my blog, here are a number of needle felted works created in 2016 and 2017.  The past month or two I have been creating smaller needle felted work for my upcoming market stall at Etsy Made Local Perth Hills on 25 November. See my Shop/Events tab for more information.

Needle felted blue wren

I have been working on a new series (as I can't always be the crazy bird lady!!) of scented succulents. These are made with dried lavender encased within the wool base, they smell so lovely! I am trying make this range zero waste so you can either compost the entire piece when you tire of it or compost or recycle components (the smaller cactus in the shot glasses for example can be reused or recycled and the cactus form can be composted).

Needle felted wool on hemp painting

Needle felted echidna inspired pin cushion
This pincushion is a great zero waste gift for a crafter/sewer as the entire pincushion is made from pure wool.
Needle felted duck with wool and kunin felt

Needle felted owl finger puppet

Needle felted wool paintings/drawings on hemp

Needle felted easter bird and nest
Needle felted birds

 Exhibited at St Mark's Art Show 2016

17 September 2017

Hay Bale Challenge, York Festival 2017

I entered and won the York Festival's Hay Bale Challenge this year. I thought it would be fun to do and push me creatively. I am thrilled and surprised to win, I have never won anything before and feeling very lucky to have been selected by the judges amongst all the amazing entries this year.

In July I attended a York Festival workshop hosted by Natalie Tonkin at her farm studio in Moora to learn more about sculpting and stitching with hay. I had a fabulous day there, Natalie was so warm, welcoming and generous with her sharing of ideas and knowledge about working with hay.  Natalie had machine stitched hay which amazed me! Her studio and home was filled with her creations. Natalie's passion for recycling, her craftmanship in everything that she does was incredible. She is my new artist's crush! The other participants were lovely to work alongside and it was great to learn more about their farm and country lives. My husband drove up with me and explored the town of Moora for the morning and Natalie insisted that he return for lunch. I am glad that he shared in this day too. Natalie's home made soup and apple pie served on her handmade ceramic plates were to die for! It was a special day, a soulful day. I was invigorated and inspired and keen to get home and work more on my ideas and sculpture.

I must admit to procrastinating quite a bit and thought about not entering at all and was struggling with the fear of failure and trying to find time to work on it. I new I wanted to create an avian inspired piece and thought a nest of baby birds would be a great option to mark the start of spring.  I managed to get my entry in with a work in progress shot and slowly Spring Nest took form and shape. The nest has a chicken wire armature, the birds are a wire armature then damp hay was placed over the wire and built up by hand stitching with thread over and over to form the shapes. As I was working on this it brought wonderful memories of all the birds that I cared for over four years volunteering at Native Animal Rescue. I cared for literally hundreds of orphan and kidnapped baby birds (well meaning people think many babies on the ground have been abandoned but they are not, many native birds are out of the nest on the ground with their parents watching over them). The crows and magpie babies were the messiest and had the most character.  It was a wonderful sight when you opened a warming box and the babies would wake up and squawk with their mouths wide open begging for food. Baby birds needed hand fed every hour, their parents have a lot of work to do in spring to find food for themselves and also for their babies. It doesn't make it any easier for them as we are plowing down more and more bushland, altering ecosystems, reducing habitat and food sources.

I miss volunteering and working with wildlife but had to take a break since mid last year to support my wonderful teenage daughter who has chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. I have also just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my feet and my lower back so it looks like long standing shifts volunteering are not feasible to return to. I hope that I can return and help in some capacity in the future. It has been a difficult year and working on the hay bale challenge sculpture, stitching over and over into hay was active meditation for me, which really helped with the worry and stress of being a carer.

I am so glad that I completed it and entered! I wouldn't have guessed that I would be the winner of this sculpture challenge, it is awesome news and has lifted my spirits! Here are a couple of work in progress shots (apologies one with not the best lighting).

The finished work of course I neglected to photograph it in the studio with good lighting. I took some shots at the Tourist Information stop just before York. The beautiful Town of York is in the far background in this photo. The drive to York in Spring is picturesque, bushland alive with wildflowers,  rolling hills and yellow canola fields. I think participating in any of the York Festival events every year is a fantastic way to celebrate and enjoy spring in Western Australia.

31 July 2016

Needle felted recent work

Here's a few of my recent needle felted creations. Wool for my work is sourced from sheep that are not mulesed and are well cared for.

10 August 2015

Birds of a Feather Exhibition

Several of my little birds  are on show from now until the end of October at the stunning Forest Heritage Centre exhibition space in Acacia Street, Dwellinup. Its a lovely short drive from Perth. The Blue Wren cafe offer the most delicious cakes and good coffee down the road too, make a day of it!

My birds on show on far plinth

07 June 2015

Churchlands SHS Art Show

Mister Owl was exhibited and sold at Churchlands SHS Art Show over the weekend. He is completely hand stitched and needle felted. The body is made with Kunin felt and repurposed fill with needle felted wool roving over a wire armature. Kunin felt is made from 100% recycled post consumer plastic bottles.
Mister Owl
Carolyn McIntosh, 2015
Mixed media soft sculpture

15 April 2015

Making use of art transfer paper

I am working on a few ideas for reproducing my feather artworks onto useable items such as grocery/library bags, aprons t-shirts and gift bags. This bag's image is made using art transfer paper which is quite expensive but gives a great finish.  I am researching fair trade and organic natural fabrics in the hope of having several totes, cushions, aprons and maybe t-shirts to be ready for an upcoming art market stall.

29 March 2015

My installation at Artists on the Walkpath 2015

Using small scissors I created one hundred duct tape 
and twist tie feathers and attached them to fishing line with crimps.

Just installed and looking pretty blowing in the wind

Fortified Feathers
by Carolyn McIntosh

Title : Fortified Feathers
Artist Statement
My installation references the restoration project at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary. This project renews my hope that as individuals and communities we are taking action to help the environment and future survival of native fauna.

31 January 2015

I've been selected for Artists on the Walkpath 2015!

I have been selected for the City of Bayswater’s annual outdoor exhibition “Artists on The Walkpath” 2015. At this outdoor event, running from Saturday 28 to Sunday 28 March, contemporary artists create temporary sculptural or art installations out of recycled material that responds to the local environment.

Contemporary artists create temporary sculptural or installation artworks along the path  at the foreshore, Bayswater Riverside Gardens, Milne Street, Bayswater, Western Australia.

Artists on the Walkpath 28 and 29 March 2015

Artists on the Walkpath is sponsored by the City of Bayswater, and coincides with their Autumn River Festival.


17 September 2014

Experimenting with needle felting

I have been admiring needle felted sculpted birds of several artists for many years and thought I'd give it a go, this bird is my first one. The nest is woven from cuttings of wandering fig vine that is growing on my front wall, nicely insulating my garage studio.  I really enjoyed needle felting and I might make a few more. I am keen to source wool roving from farms that don't mulese their sheep and treat them humanely so I am currently researching this.  I have a labradoodle dog who needs a haircut so I will keep the hair cuttings, wash them and see if I can needle felt it! Although my dog Sally doesn't think her haircuts are humane, she hates having her haircut!!

25 May 2014

Community Art Exhibition at Churchlands Senior High School

The Builder, mixed media sculpture
using silk remnant fabric and fibre
Carolyn McIntosh 2014

Community Art Exhibtion
 at Churchlands Senior High School

I will have two of my soft sculpture birds on display and available for purchase at Churchlands SHS Community Art Exhibition.

Opening night Friday 30 May, 6 – 8 pm

Exhibition opening times: Sat 31 May & Sun 1 June, 10 am – 4 pm

Visual Arts Centre at Churchlands SHS off Memory Place.

The 2014 exhibition will be opened by guest speaker, Geoff Lummis, a former student and now Lecturer in Education at Edith Cowan University.

Entertainment will be provided by students from the schools’ renowned Music program and drinks and finger food will be available.