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Basketmaking, Drawing, Graphic Design, Jewelry making, Sculpting, Textile Design & Artistry, Woodworking

Lee Anne Barnes

I have to create and I love holidays! I am inspired by Vintage, but recreate with my own twist!

I grew up in a small town where life moves at a slower pace. Holidays were a big deal. I was lucky to have a mom with a great love of holidays, who made each one magic.

To keep her memory, I started collecting vintage holiday decorations and discovered the German goose feather tree. They were the first artificial Christmas trees and were brought to America by German immigrants longing for a little of Christmas from their country.

Dyed goose feathers were wrapped around wire to look like pine needles….Ingenious! Ornaments made of spun cotton and paper were made and then later sold in ‘dime’ stores to hang on the feather trees.

I use original techniques to recreate the trees, but have developed construction methods to make them more durable and a little more contemporary. I also create ornaments in the vintage style, inspired by ornaments and graphics from the early twentieth century.

Feather trees make a beautiful addition to holiday decor. Pastel trees are lovely to usher in spring and Easter. Black trees look great with fall and Halloween decorations. The ideas are endless.

In addition to goose feather trees, I am a cloth doll designer.

Biography

I have been a cloth doll designer for over twenty five years. I live and work in Fairmont, West Virginia. I have created many dolls from one of a kind art dolls to cloth dolls to be cuddled and played with. I have had work displayed in several galleries including Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, The Frank and Jane Gabor Folk Life Center, Stifel Fine Arts Center, and Very Special Arts Gallery in Washington, D.C. I have attended classes with well known doll artists such as Patty Medaris Culea, Christine Shively, Julie McCullough, Shelly Thornton, Robert Tonner, Dawn Schiller and Cyndi Mahlstadt. I have researched and presented programs on the history of the cloth doll and was part of a gallery display showcasing the history of textiles in West Virginia. I also design and make German Feather Trees, ornaments and tree toppers.