What is Needle Felting?
The use of a sharp, barbed needle to poke wool into shapes. The fibers from the wool become entangled and they stay together so you are able to create forms.
“How did you learn about needle felting?”
I have had some wonderful resources to draw from! As mentioned in my Artist introduction, I first learned from Kay Petal of Felt Alive. www.feltalive.com. A truly huge resource both for tutorials and excellent quality wool supplies has been (and continues to be) Sarafina Fiber Arts. Sara Renzulli has been a fun and informative teacher and I’m happy to live with so many wonderful felt friends as a result of her tutorials. www.sarafinafiberart.com Another great resource for learning and supplies is Living Felt. www.livingfelt.com And finally, some of my most treasured projects I’ve created I learned from Em Fountain at Stab the Fluff. www.stabthefluff.com
“How long does it take to make a needle felted sculpture?”
That really depends on the size and complexity of the piece. When I create something very “simple” like a small gnome sculpture with no defining facial features or a small fantasy owl or pumpkin, they may take about 2 hours. Most of my sculptures are created over a weeks time, spending a few hours each day on them. The Spirit-Catchers I make that are offered here may take anywhere from 15-20 hours each, usually completed over a span of several days.
“How did you come up with your first Spirit-Catcher?”
I had recently begun exploring weaving, macraweaving, (macrame with weaving), and dream catchers and had a hazy idea of creating some different pieces that included needle felting for hanging. I experimented with a couple of things and liked them but wasn’t sure exactly what was next. I had a bit of a standstill for a couple of weeks…had started a project on a round hoop, not sure what in the world it would be. I tried to start with some weaving but had no vision for it and walked away from it a few times. The last time I sat down after walking away I heard that wonderful tiny whisper “go back and start another way”. I knew what it meant..I was trying to go in the front door while it was better to go in through the back door so to speak. So I went back and didn’t look up the entire day. I was so surprised to see Island Woman Spirit in all her colorful glory emerge …wow, was she unique, the most different piece I had ever made! I just kept going after that very easily, with each new Spirit lining up in my awareness, requesting entry into our world. From that first Spirit-Catcher I learned I must always create the Spirit first…the Spirit then determines the color and texture of the weave…and Not the other way around!
“What inspires your art pieces?”
Nature, magic, fantasy. In this world the colors and textures in nature like tree bark, moss, lichen, wood, stone, flowers, and all animals. Other artists, beautiful nature photography, books with magical characters and some music can all lend inspiration at different times. I love the art of Amanda Clark and Catherine Hyde, both in the UK. Their paintings are so magical. Brian and Wendy Froud are wonderful fantasy artists and I have a couple of their books. Rien Poortvliet has wonderful illustrations of animals and gnomes that I really love. Favorite books inlcude the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, Harry Potter, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, The Mists of Avalon. So many wonderful worlds to discover in these books that stir the imagination.
“Do you offer commissions?”
Yes, I do! I have completed several special commission pieces which can be viewed on the Gallery page. The commission pieces are all the original size of 12′ diameter and include the needle felted spirit surrounded by a weaving of various colors and textures, resulting in a unique piece of artwork filled with vibrant energy and personality! If you are someone who is very drawn to a certain Spirit, perhaps a totem animal, or a favorite being you like to have in your home represented through art and you really love my style of work, I would love to hear from you! We can have a conversation and depending where I’m at with current projects, and the type of project you have in mind it just may be possible! Who knows, maybe your Spirit-Catcher is one that’s been visiting the periphery of my awareness over the last few months and they were waiting for a request to be created! Know that my process of creating each Spirit-Catcher is very intuitive. The weaving portion of the art piece is very much guided by the Spirit who has been needle felted. So, someone who has very specific ideas about textures, colors, wants an exact replica of a photo, etc, is better off finding an artist who’s gifted at working in that way. Please note also that I do not create pet portrait pieces. I know so many people love having replicas of their beloved pets that have crossed over. There are really talented felting artists out there who specialize in this and I can help you get names and contact info if that is the project you are interested in. I admire the artists who can do that work…it’s just not my special talent! I have thoroughly enjoyed creating these commission pieces for each special person and look forward to connecting with you! Thank you for your interest!