Asheville, North Carolina
Celtic Soul Craft on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Celtic-Soul-Craft/127237380645774
(Photos courtesy Jude Lally. Photos depict details of Jude’s work, a participant’s work at one of her workshops, and some older work. To see her current work, primarily of hats and other art forms, please visit the link to her website above.)
What is your relationship to your authentic self?
I feel my authentic self is my other half, there’s the matrix world self and the eco self, the split occurring through a perceived dualism, which of course doesn’t really exist. I’m in recovery from such a damaging concept and my authentic self is the one that hears trees whispering it’s my pure self, my true self. It’s the true path, and it’s on that path that magic happens!
What work did you do previous to what you’re doing now?
I worked as a specialized librarian.
How did you feel about that work?
I loved the challenge of finding information. But secretly the job gave me time, time to think what I really wanted to do or at least ask the right questions.
Do You have a sense of a calling?
I have a deep sense of calling. It’s to bring us closer to our eco-self, that self that was an integral part of nature.
Tell me about the art you make, your processes and what you hope to achieve with this work.
I make felted hats, wearable art hats. I also make needle felted dolls and flat felted art.
Wet felting is a very ancient art and I love the idea of entering into an ancient process that goes back generation’s throughout many cultures. It’s a spiritual process. The set up is a ritual in itself. Although I have a basic idea of what I’m making I let go of any preconceived ideas and just employ the process. It’s a physical, repetitive process, which lulls you into a meditative state. There’s definitely a magic involved.
What I do is threefold – there’s making things with wool but also running workshops and writing. Each feed into the other. I hold space where people can create art pieces guided by soul, daily reminders for us to connect, connect to each other and recognize that we are part of nature.
You left Scotland, as in that’s where you come from originally? Were you particularly frightened? Were there any specific synchronicities or astonishing intuitive events that marked your path at this turning point?
Yip I’m Scottish, moved here in 2009. My husband is American and we had talked about him moving to Scotland but I jumped at the chance to live someplace else – I just wanted a change and deep down always knew i’d live ‘away’.
I didn’t think twice about it, moving here. Once I got here I really got into my art. It was as if that perspective being away from Scotland helped me work out exactly what is important to me and my path. No coincidence that I landed in a place full of people with Celtic roots – who have had a hunger to explore those roots. This September I’m offering a weeks tour taking people to Scotland for a week – connecting with ancestral roots and the ancient goddesses of the Loch Lomond area.
Yes, lots of synchronicities – even down to when I first moved we lived in a converted school bus and my landlady was a fiber artist so I got to have workshop space in her barn. One of the first people I met here (I volunterred with a local sexual abuse survivor group) – I wasn’t able to take the position as I didn’t drive but that person helped connect me into Asheville and encouraged me to offer art workshops (which at the time was a huge thing for me). We’re still good friends and I’m still offering workshops.
How does money relate to your calling?
I’m currently supporting the business and hope that balance will tip towards it supporting me. I live with a lot less $ than I used to when I was living the 9-5, but then I have a lot less wants these days, life is definitely simpler. After food any other $ goes straight back into buying wool.
What kind of challenges do you face in trying to live authentically?
It’s that split again, the one that takes us out of nature and places us as cogs in the machine. I feel I’m in recovery from waking up and seeing how the real world really is. I’m grateful that life is less ‘get a proper job’ and more about supportive friends and a life and community imbued with inspiring values.
What effectiveness do you feel in trying to live authentically?
I left Scotland with a question of how do I combine art, healing and nature and having no clue to how all that could possibly come together. I was eager to give up the 9-5 and here I found a life that I’ve been able to weave all that together. It feeds me, makes me feel alive, gives me a life with true purpose. I have a drive that just keeps me going.
Have you had any outstanding dreams, intuitive experiences or synchronicity related to your calling?
I see life as a web made up from a fabric whose very weave is the criss cross path of synchronicity. When I’m living authentically, life is synchronicity and when I step out of that flow, that awareness it isn’t there so much and that’s my warning that I’ve stepped away and got caught up with shiny distractions.
What books are you reading right now?
Always several on the go:
Viki Noble – Shakti Women: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World.
Anne Baring & Jules Cashford – The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image.
Neil Gaiman – Anansi Boys.
What’s your favorite vegetable?
This kind of question could drive a vegetarian mad. I couldn’t possibly answer! I love vegetables!
What’s your favorite tea?
Jasmine, although Puer is my new tea love..