FACILITATOR FRIDAY: DONNA MACPHERSON
What medium do you work in?
Fibre I really prefer natural fibres like silks, cottons, wool, cashmere, alpaca
What do you make?
I needle felt animals and funny gnomish style people and create panels that are basically painting with coloured wool and sometimes other fibres.I sew garments, quilts and other things that catch my fancy. I crochet, although not too much any more. I knit and have recently started to learn to knit lace.
What compels you to create?
I have to create to feel alive. I have a compelling need to have my hands occupied with beautiful and even not so beautiful things that I have created myself.
How did you start creating?
I can hardly remember. My mother knit beautifully and created cross stitch and embroidered pictures. My Granny sewed and had lots of patience to help me learn. I had a great teacher in high school that taught sewing techniques well. I remember babysitting on the weekends to make enough money to go to the fabric store to make myself a dress . I would stay up all night cutting and sewing and then wear the dress to school the next day. Yes, we HAD to wear dresses or skirts to school.
Where is your studio is located ?
I have a beautiful large room in the basement with a good size storage room off of it for my stash of fabrics and fibres.
Why do you create?
I have to. I feel unaccomplished if I can't. I love to try all kinds of creating. Some I continue to do and some I leave behind after I have tried it. I feel whole and satisfied when I can be creative. The process is as satisfying as the completion.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Needles, sewing needles, knitting needles, felting needles, big needles, little needles, fat needles, skinny needles. It is ridiculous to see the collection I have. There are old needles, new needles, my Mom's needles, some fancy kits of needles, needle holders that I have inherited, found, bought and made.
What is unique about your art practice?
One and a half years ago I encountered a needle felting kit, bought it and tried it out. I had never heard of needle felting up until then. I have since found that it is a very old practise but not many people do it.
Number of years you have been a crafter or artist
Would you let us hook up your ‘Recently Played’ list on Spotify to the studio speakers?
What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
I had my one year old great great niece here for brunch. She spied the whipped cream container and stuck out her hand so I squirted some cream on her hand. She kept licking it off and asking for more cream. I laughed and laughed. Lucky for me her Mom is pretty tolerant.
Favorite season and why?
I like summer because the weather here is the best. I can be outside either on my deck at home or my deck at the lake. I can felt, knit or paint in the outdoors.
My deck, we had a huge covered one at the farm, a covered one at our home in the city and multiple decks at the lake. They all can shelter me from wind and rain so I can be outside in most mild weather.
What is your idea of time well spent ?
Time well spent. I love to spend time with people, especially children. I love seeing the world through their eyes. I love offering them tools such as art supplies and just seeing what they create.
At Red Fox you will find me teaching the following...
Needlefelting, Crochet, Embroidery
I think I am the quirky fact, kind of a crazy old lady. At least I hope so