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Cheryl Thomas

Region: 
North Slave
Community: 
Yellowknife
Associations: 

Artist Story

For as long as I can remember, I have always been investing my time in some sort of craft. I took every single art class I could take in high school, such as fine arts, ceramics, painting and drawing. My grandmother always quilted, my mother did a lot of sewing and knitting and my father was a talented welder using his craft to make useful items around our home. Maybe I got the creative gene from them. As a young girl, I would create things all the time, following in their footsteps.

I was always very interested in fibre arts and crafts. As a stay-at-home mom, I sewed a lot of my children’s clothes and made Christmas decorations and ornaments that I would sell at craft sales along with homemade jams to supplement our income.

I learned to work with felt in home economics classes but taught myself how to use it in different ways through online tutorials. The type of felting that I practice now requires a knitted vessel, which I put through an old style washer with agitator and hot water. Once the item comes out of the washer, I work it into the desired shape, add vibrant colours of raw unspun wool to create the design I desire, and finish it off with northern accents such as caribou antler, feathers or driftwood to make it unique.

I get my inspiration from what I observe around me. My surroundings have a significant impact on my work. For example, I will look at the colour of the water and the contrast with the rocks and figure out how to bring that into my craft. Northern accents from the land help me incorporate nature into each piece.

Nature is a huge inspiration to me. I love to be able to bring the feeling of being outside into my art. If I go for a walk, I always look for the small details, such as the design of lichen on rocks. We are so close to the natural world here, and to see all these beautiful and subtle colours and textures on a regular basis is very inspiring.

Artist Bio: 

Cheryl grew up in the Mississauga area in Ontario, and moved to Yellowknife in 1997 with her family. She has led a creative life and participated in a wide array of art classes. She also followed her love for nature with post-secondary education in Forest Recreation. Cheryl also spent a few years working as a naturalist in the Ontario parks system before raising her family. Her interest in nature won her over back then, but she is now combining her two passions with her current artwork. Cheryl now focuses on felting, but recently taught herself how to weave as well.

 

Last Updated: October 7, 2019

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