It gives me great pleasure to introduce fellow artist Hermina Joldersma. I first met Minnie while teaching in Yellowknife in November 2013. She was the most knowledgeable tour guide during my off hours and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her.
Next, Minnie made the long trek from Yellowknife to Art Quilt Campus in Muenster, SK (twice) and everyone in the group she joined was in awe of her focus, vision and productivity. Minnie’s hard work has paid off. She has secured an exhibition in Val Marie, SK at Prairie Wind and Silver Sage Gallery this coming summer. Anyone who knows Minnie knows how much she adores Grasslands National Park.
Without further ado: Here is Hermina Joldersma!
In 2012 Hermina Joldersma retired “north” to Yellowknife and focussed her life-long passion for fabric and fibre on making art quilts, costumes and art-wear. She has supplemented self-taught skills through courses and workshops from many talented instructors in Canada and abroad. She has shown work in Calgary AB, Yellowknife and Inuvik NT, and London ON.
One challenge she has set herself is capturing the beauty of Canada’s remotest landscapes in fibre art. After volunteering to track GNP ferrets in 2013 she knew the grasslands would be one of them; in 2014 she returned to Val Marie for four months and began the works which eventually came to comprise this show.
“Ferret in Landscape”
In the four years, I’ve been working on pieces for my upcoming fibre art show this summer, I have incurred many debts of gratitude to the many people who have coached, inspired and encouraged me. One of those debts is to Anna and her mentorship during the “guided studio” weeks she has organized under “Art Quilt Campus.” In particular, “Ferret in Landscape” demonstrates the many influences on my work and Anna’s crucial mentoring role. This posting is my way of thanking her for her input and impact.
Briefly to the show: inspired by the vast grasslands of Canada’s central prairie, my favourite landscape, I began imagining “a quilt” to capture the essence of this area. Four years and 44 pieces later, I will have a solo show in Val Marie SK, at the edge of Grasslands National Park: see the poster for details. The show will run all summer and will change if/as people buy pieces and take them away. I’m grateful to Laureen Marchand and Catherine Macaulay for encouraging me in this process.
“Ferret in Landscape” started in Pat Moore’s Nuno-felting class in Yellowknife. Having finished the requisite scarf, I boldly embarked on a landscape – all white silk, wool, other feltables. Of course, the wool shrank while the silk didn’t… as I expected, but nevertheless didn’t know what to do with next. At a later Guild play-day session, I dyed it blue and green, a challenge because of course, the silk was still rippling in what seemed like massive quantities (how to put resist on fabric that wasn’t lying flat???). The result was, I thought, less than inspiring.
Writing Anna in 2014 about my intentions for the upcoming AQC (Anna always asks participants what they intend to work on), I ended my email with: “And then there’s this other piece, felted and dyed, which doesn’t look good and I might just throw away.” “Don’t!” she fired back. “Take it along! Let’s have a look at it! You never know!”
Her first and most important suggestion was to tame the rippling sky through vertical embroidery. Using a simple but effective running stitch, the sky began to take on contours that indeed read “sky”. She also suggested adding hand-stitching and embroidery, possibly beads, to the land portion to balance the sky and add similar visual interest. Through the AQC week, the piece started to take shape. I subsequently took it on my travels to the London ON Chapter of the Canadian Embroiderers Guild, where I absorbed even greater fearlessness in surface embellishment – “if 3 stitches don’t look good, put in 100 and it will” became my motto.
As Anna said: you never know. Today “Ferret in Landscape” is one of my favourites.
What I learned from Anna, most importantly, is not to give up on an idea just because it doesn’t work out as planned (or, in my case, only vaguely planned, even unplanned). I also learned how hand-stitching can shape a piece and generate visual interest.
Thank you, Minnie, for your contribution to this blog. We all learn from each other! I am grateful we have met through art. Congratulations on securing your exhibition. I am planning to attend the opening! Can’t wait to connect in person.
Here is the poster advertising Minnie’s exhibition: