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Studio Tour Spotlight: Mary Blanche MorseFree Access

Living fiber art Above; From functional to decorative, beauty comes to life through handmade felt-making and fiber art. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARY BLANCHE MORSE

Living fiber art: From functional to decorative, beauty comes to life through handmade felt-making and fiber art. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY BLANCHE MORSE

For 30 years, Mary Blanche Morse has been a felt maker, specializing in various fiber art. She creates “artistic and functional pieces from all kinds of fiber for folks to use and enjoy.”

Morse’s medium consists of handmade felt, natural dyes, and fiber art. She claims, “All kinds of fiber art have endless possibilities for creativity. After thirty years as a professional, I am still exploring new inspirations and techniques.”

Handmade felt is from sheep’s wool or other animal fibers. These fibers have scales, which, under the influence of moisture, lubrication, heat, and agitation, can mat together into strong, dense fabric.

“I usually start with raw wool that I wash, dye, and process into handmade felt items for folks to use and enjoy. I make hats, scarves, bags, other accessories and ornaments, wall pieces, detailed and colorful pictures, and tapestries,” shares Morse.

Morse learned to knit in the first grade and has been actively creating an array of fiber art since. Mary also spins, knits, crochets, weaves, and dyes yarn and fiber with aspen leaves and other natural dyes, which give her art beautiful coloring, including the botanical print on silk with leaves and flowers.

Morse has been showing, selling, and teaching felt and fiber art at fiber festivals and art shows all over the country since 1993. In Colorado, her art is displayed at the Art Center of Estes Park, The Old Gallery in Allenspark, and The Glass Tipi in Ward.

Between 2004 and 2018, Morse displayed her art at a small gallery in the general store in Ward, which her husband and she owned and operated, the Utica Street Market. Morse shares, “My business name is Full Spectrum Fiber Arts. Since we sold the store and retired.”

Morse says she finds her inspiration through “nature and in all of God’s glorious creation; it is those natural materials in God’s creation that inspire me the most.” From the shapes and forms to the colors of nature, she’s inspired to transform them into things that can make people happy.

Morse believes “everyone should make their artistic process their own (like with life!) to get the excellent results they want. I always say ‘There are as many ways to make felt as there are felt makers,’ and there are lots of fabulous felt out there.”

Morse plans to continue showing at the three galleries across the Peak to Peak region. She wants to “keep exploring the endless possibilities of felt-making and fiber art through my own creating and sharing by teaching.”

Morse spends a lot of time ensuring she is happy with her creations. She confesses, “It brings me joy to know that thousands of my creations are enjoyed by customers all over the world.”

Mary Blanche Morse’s art is displayed at The Old Gallery in Allenspark. You can find the gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheAPOldGallery or you can give Mary a call at 303-249-0484.

Sign up as an artist or sponsor for The Mountain-Ear’s Studio Tour September 22-24, 2023, at www.themtnear.com/peak-to-peak-studio-tour-2023/.