Trained as a painter, my creative canvas is now felt–the most ancient of textile forms–long predating spinning and weaving. Its structure is unspun fibers, matted together using only hot water, pressure, agitation and tenacity. I form it by hand, create imagery with resist dyes, and finally add “marks” with thread and found objects.
I came upon “felting” by accident, but once introduced, I was captivated by the tactile qualities, deeply embedded colors and range of subtleties. From this magical mesh of fibers, I endeavor to create a language of symbolic forms inspired by the mysteries of nature. My Felted Gardens series focuses on the repeating patterns of planting, cultivating, harvesting–then lying dormant–only to rejuvenate and repeat the cycle again and again. I try to evoke personal worlds containing a sense of place, solitude and contemplation.
Erma Martin Yost graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, with an M.A. in painting and ceramics. Her work is in numerous public collections including the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ. The New Jersey State Museum, the Jersey City Museum, the Newark Museum, the Hunterdon Museum, the Morris Museum and the State Museum of Pennsylvania have all exhibited her work. Yost received fellowships from New Jersey Council on the Arts in 1991 and 1999. She has had more than 25 solo exhibitions and is featured in more than 21 books. Noho M55 Gallery in New York City represents her.