We get several questions about our collaboration and how our art project works. Here are a few answers for ya!
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Our bar for when a piece is finished continues to rise with the evolution of our project. We typically determine a work is completed when the composition is balanced and the elements feel exciting.
How long does it take to finish a piece?
Our process includes mailing a piece back and forth from Minnesota to Michigan until it is complete. We work on several pieces at a time; therefore, a single piece can take months, if not years, depending on the scale. Smaller pieces are swapped fewer times and can be completed quickly. More significant works take many passes between us and can take much longer.
How did stitching on felt become the medium for your collaboration?
After a few attempts to make something together, we quickly realized that working on the same surface was more enjoyable. We determined stitching was a common interest and a background we both had. Working from a distance also dictated that a piece must be easily mailed. So, fabric is stitched, removed from hoops, and sent back and forth. We enjoy using felt as a matrix because it can hold many stitches and has nice, clean-cut edges when we finish a piece.
This looks like so much fun! I want to stitch, too. Can I join your collaboration?
We appreciate your enthusiasm! This project explores how the two of us work together so we are not taking on additional collaborators. However, we love to share our process, and you can try making a hoop with us through one of our Wondermaker Kits - available in our Etsy Shop! With each kit, one of us has started a 3” hoop, and you are provided with an assortment of materials we use in our work to decide how to finish it! Check out our Wondermaker Kit page!
Is your work for sale?
Yes! If a piece is available, we are happy to facilitate sales with current and future collectors of our work. Please let us know if you're curious about a piece.
If purchasing a piece isn't an option right now, please consider one of our project-inspired products (like this sequin-patterned coffee mug) that help us raise funds for supplies!
What is your collaborative process?
After determining a goal or collection we wish to develop, we will stretch felt or wool over embroidery hoops or wooden frames to get started. We each typically have a piece to work on in the early phases. Felt appliqué and base stitches are placed to build texture and color variations. Once we determine a swap date, pieces are taken out of their stretched hoops or frames and mailed to each other. When a piece is received, it is once again stretched (sometimes in a new orientation), and the next stitch, appliqué, or embellishment is chosen based on the color and composition provided. Working on a Wondermaker piece is a constant creative challenge full of surprises and opportunities to try something new.
Do you offer workshops?
We’ve enjoyed bringing our collaboration process to groups of curious participants and are always interested in hosting another experience. Depending on the scale and time provided, workshops have ranged from starting hoops and exchanging them to having a starter hoop created by one of us for a participant to finish. (See our Wondermaker Kits, for example) Future workshops will be advertised on our Social Media platforms, and if you or your organization are interested in hosting a Wondermaker Workshop, please get in touch with us!
What materials do you use?
Our favorite materials include a base fabric of felt or wool. We use embroidery hoops or wood frames to stretch our work. We build stitches with embroidery floss and yarn and use a variety of embellishments, including, but not limited to, applique, sequins, clay beads, and seed beads.
Do you ever find collaboration challenging?
We’ve learned how to grow with our project. We each bring our natural skills to support the art, learn from one another, and lean into the stitching process with open minds. Every collaboration comes with the challenge of letting go and trusting the process.
How long have you collaborated?
About 8 years! Our collaboration started in late 2015.
Where do you see your art headed?
We see ourselves working beyond the hoop and exploring new ways to display our work. We also have goals to push the scale of our work and dream of making large textile installation pieces!
Do you take commissions?
We would consider commissions that appreciate the time it takes to complete work with our process and the intuitive nature of our stitching. Finished pieces are never planned out, so room for direction, if any, lies with scale and occasionally color. Contact us if you are curious!