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Spirit: today is always a great day to be creative
Today is always a great day to be creative. Hirsch Wellness Network is here to help you connect with others, discover new opportunities and join in group activities collaboratively or on your own. On this page, we feature Hirsch Wellness Network members who model the spirit of creation as healing and self discovery.

  Share your experiences with cancer
  Victoria Clegg. Feltmaker.

Victoria Clegg
June 2011

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Do what you can.
Want what you have.
Be who you are.

My name is Victoria Clegg, and I am a nine-year survivor of both ductal and lobular breast cancer.

Organic medium brings artist to "beautiful place."

During the last 9 years I have sought a place of peace, of healing, acceptance of a new body-image and many new norms.

I found all of that in my art, in the creative activities that allow me to focus in the moment and step away from the worries we all share. Worrying does nothing for us, and saps our good energy. I’m not able to stay in that positive and beautiful place all the time, but my art always takes me back there.

I like all the mediums, but no matter what, I am always mesmerized with creating glorious textiles. I became a feltmaker back in 2002, and this medium has continued to mesmerize me—particularly felting and nuno-felting—and now, eco-color. In all of the art forms I’ve worked in, I have never found one so organic. To do what I do takes water, soap, physical energy, and my creativity is completely unleashed.

In felting we render our artistic visions in wool. We may paint with wool to create landscapes and vignettes, or shape the fibers to make "Objets d’art" or wearable art.

In nuno-felting (nuno means “fabric” in Japanese) we use soap and water to marry silk and wool in beautiful colors, creating a new, composite fabric that can be worn or displayed.

In eco-color, also known as eco-dying—we use nature’s gifts as our color sources, gathering and binding in cloth the leaves, twigs, berries, nuts, feathers, and even insects that have fallen to the ground—we take nothing living. These are then processed to imprint on the fabric the wondrous, and often unexpected, colors nature has given us. Each eco-dying project is entirely unique, nature’s gift to you alone.

In my forty-seventh year I prayed for change, for release from the corporate wraith that drained my life of color and denied my soul its name. The change came as a shadow in the night, silent, severing my bonds while I still cried as a penitent.

It called itself cancer and brought an answer to my prayer that was swift and sure: it exchanged my loathing of today for terror of tomorrow. But the grace, the fierce grace of my salvation, lay within the terror—only terror could make me welcome the blade slicing away my once proud breasts, make me embrace as a lover the fire of chemotherapy that burned away the penitent.

Now, I live my name: teller of illuminated tales, singer of silent songs… Victoria’s Arias.

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