Belinda Chapnick is a fiber & mixed media artist, and the owner of Southern Oaks Endless Possibilities Fiber Studio. She’s a maker of fiber arts, and is bringing a pretty comprehensive exhibit to Gulf Coast MakerCon this year. We asked her to tell us a bit about her work and what she’ll be sharing at the event.
GCMC: Please tell us about your work.
BC: I’ve been an artist my whole life but had never worked with fiber until 12 years ago when we started our alpaca farm. That’s when I got the bug and started working with fiber. Last year we sold all the alpacas because the fiber business was keeping me very busy. I make one of a kind wearable art such as Nuno Felted scarves, shawls, purses and clothing. Needle felted 3 dimensional art, rugs, purses, wearables and woven purses, shawls and wall hangings. All the processing and dyeing are done by me. I supply carded art batts for spinning & felting along with dyed roving & silk scarves. I sell my wears at markets, art shows, my farm store, online web store, etsy and also give classes on felting spinning and weaving.
GCMC: What do you love best about what you do?
BC: I love taking the fiber from the animal and wash, card, dye and spin or felt it into something beautiful to wear or decorate with. The whole process is interesting and satisfying when you have made something from raw fiber to a finished piece.
GCMC: What do you think what you do is important and worth doing?
BC: Felting and spinning are very old crafts and I think it’s important to keep those skills alive. That’s how clothing was made and there is something special about hand made anything. Plus the fibers are a renewable resource.
BC: I will be bringing hand made products along with some equipment to demo washing, carding, spinning and weaving. I will also have spinning wheels for sale.
Folks will be able to watch us demo washing, carding, spinning, weaving and will be able to try spinning and weaving if they are interested with our supervision.
GCMC: Why do you think an event like Gulf Coast MakerCon is important?
BC: I think it is great to see the process of how things are made and also support your local artists.
If you are a creative person it is in your blood to make something. It is also very satisfying and calming for your soul.
We look forward to seeing Belinda’s great work at Gulf Coast MakerCon, and getting a close up look at this traditional handcraft.