Hi, I am Susan Elizabeth Watson of Midsummer Night's Meadow Farm. I would like to share a little bit about me and my background.
Education: I have no formal art training. I grew up on a beef and sheep farm and I have had a farm and a flock of sheep of my own, since 1989.
My mother is a gifted artist, and past member of the Maine Spinners & Weavers Guild. There was everything from hand looms, drop spindles and a spinning wheel, to hand spun and the beautiful earth tones of naturally dyed wool throughout the house when I was growing up. I learned to sew from my mother as well. I entered and won 1st place in many 4-H sewing contests and went on to win the State Competition with a tailored, three piece wool ensemble.
I also competed in and won a number of Make It Yourself With Wool Contests in Maine and New England, and participated in an International Show in Chicago, in 1972. I receive an immense amount of inspiration, creative energy and support from my mother and my daughter, whom I in turn taught to felt.
1988-1994: I then went on to train as a Soil Scientist with USDA/NRCS and completed soils mapping on literally thousands of acres of wilderness lands in Piscataquis and Washington Counties. I also participated in a mapping detail in Finland in 1994.
1994-Present: After returning from the mapping detail in Finland I was offered a promotion and career change to serve as a Resource Conservation & Development Project Coordinator, still as a federal employee but assisting a grassroots driven non-profit 501c3 organization located in Augusta that serves six counties in central and midcoast Maine.
1993: I learned a rug hooking technique from Chris Guida, a sheep farmer and merchant marine, who when he's not out to sea, is home on his farm in Dennysville, Maine. The technique is known as Australian locker- hooking which can be used to produce a thick, wonderfully textured rug. Considering the rich tradition of rug hooking in Maine and the Maritimes, it is surprising that this technique was so little known in this area at that point in time.
1992 & 1994: I learned to felt from Beth Bede, a nationally known fiber artist and instructor who received a Fullbright Scholarship to pursue her interests in felting. She has traveled and taught worldwide and participated in International Felting Symposiums. Her work has been featured in many fiber related journals and books, galleries and shows . I have taken two felting workshops from Beth, one in the fall of 1992 and a three day intensive workshop that focused on creating seamless felted garments in October, 1994, both sessions were held at Halcyon Yarn in Bath. Beth's slide shows of felters she has worked with in her travels in Hungary, and Kazakstan, inspired me to design and build my own felted yurt which I often use as a display booth for my fiber work at festivals.
2003: I took a two day felting workshop at The Fiber Studio, Henniker,N.H., with Ewa Kuniczak, of Clackmannshire, Scotland. Ewa is a fiber artist and Textile Arts teacher, whose work is known throughout the U.K., U.S. and Japan. The workshop focused on the Nuno felting technique, a method of felting fine wool fiber on silk gauze to produce drapable, lightweight, dreamy scarves and garments. In the course of felting various pieces I have found new applications for this technique.
Exhibitions: 1998: I was asked to exhibit my hand felted wool Yurt at the Portland Fabric and Fiber Show. I joined a number of fiber artists who had displays set up thoughout the city for three days.
2000: I was again featured in the Maine Fabric and Fiber Festival in Portland, Maine. This time my Yurt was displayed along with my fiber work in the Civic Center.
Feel free to contact me at 207.924.3756 of visit by appointment at 67 McComb Road Garland ME 04939