Thursday, April 02, 2009

A D’var of Felt

The North American Feltmakers List run by Pat Spark is the proverbial motherlode of tidbits.  And just lately the tidbits have been fascinating.

Tidbit 1

On 1-Apr-09, at 1:23 PM, Pat Spark wrote:

> Old Norse (and now in contemporary usage in Swedish)=  tova  (to felt)
>   tovat (felted)

In my brain connections stirred and I felt compelled to enter into that most Jewish of pastimes……examining the etymology of words.

Old Norse = tova = to felt

Hebrew = tova = good; in the feminine form.  (The masculine form is tov.)

And, oh yes, it is good to felt!

Not content to leave it at that I called my learned friend Anat who is fluent in Hebrew and its layers of meaning.

(oh look - layers – another felting connection but I digress)

The word tov looks like this:

image imageimage

It begins with the letter Tet which looks like this


The letter encircling and moving within itself as it does can be seen imply an embrace or a pregnancy.  Also numerically tet is the number 9 which represents things within, another possibility for pregnancy.

Hold that thought.

The word tovat in hebrew is arrived at by the addition of the letter tav at the end of it.

So the word now looks like this

image imageimageimage

When you do this you create a form of the word that cannot be duplicated in English.  With this one word you now have the phrase goodness-within-it. 

Which makes sense because Tav is the final letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet and it represents completion and wholeness.

Old Norse = tovat = felted

Hebrew = tovat = goodness within it

And, oh yes, when a piece is fully felted you can feel the goodness within it.

Are the hairs on your arms standing on end yet?


Well let’s see what we can do about that!

Because next I happened to mention to Anat

Tidbit 2

which is, quite possibly, the best ‘quick’ description of felt I have ever heard

“Felt harnesses the chaos of tangles”

- Willow Mullins 2009


And as Anat pointed out this is just what God did when she/he/it/Buddah/Allah/Great Spirit/Breath of Life/Shekhinah….. harnessed the tohu v’vohu (chaos) and created (birthed) the world and saw that it was good.

Oh and did I mention the layers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Suzanne (
Breathtakingly beautiful remarks on felt. God is in the details!