November 18 - December 15
Public Reception: Saturday, November 18, 1pm-4pm

The idea for this exhibition happened with the title - Steel Wool. Once Pam Carnochan and Deb Harkness had the title, they had to figure out how to make work to fit it.  

Both artists are deeply influenced by the landscape of Muskoka that serves as a muse for their work and with this common interest. By working together, Pam and Deb found a way to combine a soft and hard medium that enhanced each of their artistic styles.  

For some pieces, Deb fabricated window frames for Pam to install her wool-felted landscapes. Deb, who is well known for her garden art, forged bulrushes and lily pads on which Pam added felted frogs and birds for colour and softness. An ardent horse enthusiast, one of Deb’s impressive wall pieces captures the movement of a galloping horse. To complete the work, Pam adding a felted saddle pad.  

“Our mediums are both ancient and fresh in approach and very much tied to the history of this region, with horses and sheep being integral in the development of our communities,” explains Pam.  “This exhibition showcases our expression of art through the eyes of two different artists combining their talents to create a show that will celebrate both fibre and steel, the soft heart and the strong framework that makes up both artists.”  

Pam uses the wool from her sheep to create her felted wool landscapes that are made using both wet and needle felting techniques. The sheep are raised on her small Huntsville hobby farm, utlitizing permaculture techniques in food production and land preservation. She takes the wool from her sheep, dyes it and creates original felted landscapes. This art practice fits her back-to-the-land lifestyle in.  

Artistically, Deb began by drawing with pencils, pens, inks and charcoal but she always felt something was missing. It wasn’t until 2001, when she studied blacksmithing at Sir Sanford Fleming College that she found her medium where she can express herself to the fullest. “Finding new ideas to create in steel is a wonderful challenge,” says Deb. “The more I see, the more I create.  

A public reception for Pam and Deb will be held on Saturday, November 18 from 1pm to 4pm at the Chapel Gallery. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until December 15.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. is located in the District Municipality of  Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.