About the Artist
Joy Muller-McCoola works with wool using the ancient process of wet felting. The sculptural possibilities of wool, its capacity to become fabric and form simultaneously and its tactile properties are a draw of the medium. She creates plastic resists, lays loose wool fibers around the resist, and agitates the wool through rubbing and rolling techniques. The fibers interlock beneath her fingers. Three-dimensional form is achieved by working the wool more in certain areas causing the fibers to shrink and retain the desired form. Joy’s work is influenced by movement, nature, the human form, and the place where the natural world meets the industrial.
Joy holds a BA from NYU and an MS from SUNY Albany. She worked as an art teacher in the public schools for over 30 years and delighted in sharing a variety of media. Felting became her personal medium of choice in 2011. She has shown at The Hyde Collection, Albany Center Gallery, The Worcester Center for Crafts, the Gaelen Gallery and LARAC.
Water and stone are two elemental materials found in the places that give me peace. The stacks of stones surrounding my home echo that peace but also provide rich metaphors for larger issues. Water is used to felt wool along with agitation. The tactile quality of the process draws me to felting. Through use of resists and sheared wool I am able to create surface and form simultaneously. Singular hairs amass into larger forms through direct massage. Soft materials create the illusion of firm stone and scale-less environments. My current work uses wool from nine breeds of sheep whose migratory history is similar to that of human beings. The movement and relationships of people, time, and the environment are subjects that I continually explore.