Charlotte Sehmisch is a German felt artist I met at the Felt/Feutre Symposium in Penticton last year. While she stayed with me in Kelowna for a few days after the symposium she showed me the little book she had published in 2010. It outlines her career path from first exposure to felting as a child to recent work. The book is filled with delicious photographs, works of art in their own right. Charlotte told me of her photographer friends who traded their labour and expertise for her work. She told of the 170 eggs she was asked to fry to create the background for the model in the blue dress. I should have asked her about the gigantic chocolate balls with fruit, background to the model on page thirtynine.
Charlotte is passionate about José de Sousa Saramago, a Portuguese writer who died in 2010. In her book she quotes from his work, statements about the “knowing of hands”. Her book’s title “FILZ: WENN DIE HÄNDE WISSEN WAS SIE TUN” translates into "FELT: WHEN THE HANDS KNOW WHAT THEY DO”. I get the message: trust your hands to know, don’t overthink when you work.
Even with the text in German, this is an interesting and worthwhile book with images of Charlotte’s unique work. I imagine her in her studio, trusting her hands as she sets out to give form to another vision.