A Joyful Feeling

Fiber artists share celebration of creation

Posted: March 17, 2017 at 1 a.m.

“Sunny Day” was created by fiber artist Sally Ball by felting and embroidery with wool, bamboo, mulberry silk and hand spun yarn.

The fiber arts medium employs diverse materials -- from wool to acrylic -- and techniques -- embroidery, quilting, felting, etc. -- to produce two- and three-dimensional works of art. The pieces can be decorative or functional, but they each have different textures, and even different voices, depending on the source of the fiber and the process it undergoes.

"I source fibers from places all over the world," says local artist Sally Ball of the influence she feels in her materials. "The silks would be manufactured in China; there's wools that comes from Britain; there are local dyers in Greenland, Ark. ... Different textures represent different [animals] -- sheep, goats, silk worms. It's an art material that comes from animals, without necessarily hurting the animals. I love to be able to tell at a touch what different types of sheep are and how each [wool] responds to the felting process differently."


‘The Fine Art of Craft’

WHEN — Through April 15; meet the artists 5-7 p.m. today

WHERE — 211 Cafe in Bentonville

COST — Free; art available for sale

INFO — 544-7478 or cafe211.com

Ball is one of the artists featured in the exhibition "The Fine Art of Craft," on display at 211 Cafe in Bentonville through April 15. Much of her work celebrates and is inspired by nature -- a fondness due, in part, to a childhood spent with a set of scientist parents.

"Nature is about more than just the aesthetics; you get into classification, you get into botany," she says of her muse. "A lot of it is studying tree bark and [wondering] can I convey that texture in fiber? So it's more than just aesthetics, I really kind of study nature as well."

Using materials from all over the world, often from artists she admires, leads Ball to hold onto a piece until she finds just the right fit for it. From the beginning of the process to the end, Ball takes great care to create works that bring others peace or happiness, just like the works she most enjoys.

"I don't work if I'm in a negative mood, because I would never want to felt that negative energy into a piece that would hang in someone else's house," she says. "The process, it's a very repetitive motion, so it becomes really meditative. So I will put on music and just work, but it has to be positive working. I don't ever want to send negativity into the world like that."

NAN What's Up on 03/17/2017