The beauty of felting is that we are continuing a craft that is thousands of years old. Even though it has been displaced by other materials and lately by synthetics it offers a possibility of regaining an understanding of natural materials and ancient craftsmanship.
Marjolein Dallinga is a hands-on person and her creativity from an early age stems from her love of living things, horses and riding, movement and colors. She did training in graphic arts and painting at Minerva Academy, a Fine Arts institute in Groningen, Holland, where she was born, but spent subsequent years doing mostly painting and drawing. She came to Canada in 1989, married and raised a family of three boys.
With the increasing demand for physical space at home, she gradually turned from painting to focus on smaller and less demanding creative things such as toys, during which time she met sheep and sheep’s wool and took a course in working with wool, particularly felting. Felting is an ancient technique, which allows unlimited freedom in the creative process while demanding very limited mechanical intervention such as weaving in a loom.
She also found it to be a medium in which she could express herself as she had done in her painting. Felting is also an activity, which readily fits in with her lifestyle while caring for a family. Initially she created handbags, hats, shawls and mittens, which interested enough people to be asked to teach the arts of felting. Through the contacts she made in her courses she became involved in producing theatrical pieces when her work came to the notice of the Cirque du Soleil. That developed into making things to order, but the most exciting outcome is the experimental nature of her work with the Cirque. She now has her own company, Bloomfelt.com, working from her studio with sewing and dyeing rooms.
How far this will go, will only be limited by material aspects, not by the creativity Marjolein brings to this exciting medium.