The Adaptive Artist

As an artist, I know that nothing original seems to have been done since the days of the Cave Man.

We’re always busy copying and adapting.  At the very least, we are busy being inspired by the work of others.

Moxie has no clue how one of these holiday trees fell over.  Felted projects are prized toys for the feline.

Moxie has no clue how one of these holiday trees fell over. Felted projects are prized toys for the feline.

This holds true for the craftsman. When I would purchase a pattern to sew for a craft project, they would always come with a sternly written warning about selling the items made from the pattern.  This was ignored by every crafter I met.  Any craft show has booths with the same items.

Part of the belief, possibly false, is that if you change an item three ways it is then “OK to sell”.  I think it is a case of if you change an item 3 times it doesn’t look like the original item.  It’s not written anywhere in legal terms.

I don’t sell items.  But I am sometimes inspired by the work of others (they were probably inspired by an article in a crafting magazine).  Since I am doing wool felting, I have been trying NOT to be inspired by others.  I know I do my best work when I go with my own imagination.  So I have avoided youtubes and articles and books on wool felting.  Still, recently at Wool Weekend in Hillsborough NH I was inspired to do some holiday gifts by an item being sold.

This should illustrate the adaptations most crafters and artists with make.

The original item was a spool with wool felted on top to make it look like a holiday tree.  There are metal bits out the top with stars and such.

020

I did not have any of these types of spools or bobbins around the house.  Also finding spools has been almost impossible even here in New England (wool manufacturing being a major industry at one time).  Crafters have discovered them, and visits to two of large local antique shops left me without spools.

So I used some old large spools I already owned and that was adaptation number one.

adapted by leaving cording on, as it matched nicely with the tree.

adapted by leaving cording on, as it matched nicely with the tree.

Animals was adaptation number two.  Because from the long ago days when I did sell art and crafts, an animal increased your sales potential.  Always include an animal if possible.  You have doubled your sales audience.  Now not only do you have the holiday tree lover, you have the cardinal lover also wanting your item.  Someone on my holiday list will like cardinals.  I went with basic doves for the other trees.

Throwing on a bow was number three adaptation.  I really like bows, but people can also take them off for a totally rustic look.

Since my daughters cats climb the holiday tree each year, I had to make her one with cats on the tree.

Since my daughters cats climb the holiday tree each year, I had to make her one with cats on the tree.

Now I’m done, until I find some more large spools or some bobbins.  Even Ebay seems sadly lacking in good vintage spools and bobbins at a reasonable price.  Still, this was a much easier project than most of the felted animals I create, and anyone is welcome to “steal and adapt” to their hearts content.

the little Santa heads are an adaptation as Naomi showed me a photograph of a wool Santa head and asked me to make her one.  I have totally forgotten just what the photograph looked like.  So, I just made a Santa head.

the little Santa heads are an adaptation as Naomi showed me a photograph of a wool Santa head and asked me to make her one. I have totally forgotten just what the photograph looked like. So, I just made a Santa head.



Categories: crafts

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7 replies

  1. Kitty, you’re getting seriously good at this! xx

    • thanks, too much time on my hands, and it only messy when I poke myself with the needle and bleed on the project! (don’t worry I take that part off!)

  2. Cute! I just may take up felting!

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