Hidden Owl

Today, I dropped off a hidden owl chick in a piece of locust wood that I titled Newfound Wisdom, Discovered for the MOWA Member Show. Stealing words from the MOWA site… The Members’ Show coincides with the Magic Wilderness: Dreamscapes of the Forest exhibit. This year’s theme Begin Again also contemplates how connection can reconcile the external world with the deeply personal self. Both exhibitions demarcate how Wisconsin artists have been brave enough to grow, especially over the last two years.

I choose this piece because learning to felt brought out the hidden artist in me. My dedication to felting both during the pandemic and as my husband and I transitioned to empty nesters was instrumental in retaining my sanity and passion. The owl is my favorite bird and is commonly associated with Wisdom so this was a no-brainer.

We start, as always, with a gorgeous piece of wood. This is a live edge locust that already had a hole in it that looked like an owl.

Live edge slab of locust with a hole that looks like an owl shape
Live edge slab of locust

I then finished the wood and started blending wool colors to get my owl feathers to match as closely as possible. Here are some photos as I constructed the owl.

I had what I thought was a finished owl hidden within but when I stood back and took pictures, I felt the owl was too brown and didn’t blend well enough.

Felted owl  in tans and creams nested inside a live edge locust slab

I lightened it up overall and added in some more pinks and am very happy with the final product.

Felted owl in tans, pinks and creams hidden inside a live edge locust slab

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