Felter Skelter

Felter Skelter - your essential needle felting column from Mr X Stitch!

Japanese artist Yoomoo caught my eye some time ago. The combination of needle felt and fabric in each piece strikes a perfect balance. Although I tend to prefer animals like the charming goat gentleman pictured below, the human sculptures are equally wonderful. I particularly like the portrait of Frida Kahlo (also below) They are doll-like, but definitely not playthings. The sculptures have a mystique about them that keeps me coming back again and again.

Yoomoo Goat Man

Yoomoo Frida Kahlo

Where it really gets interesting for me though, are these cat sculptures. They appear to have sprung to life from the paintings of another Japanese artist, Higuchi Yuko. Or perhaps the paintings came after, it’s hard to say. Either way, it is difficult to believe that they were not created by the same hand. Like the works above, there is an intentional quality about each of the materials – even where they differ slightly from the paintings, the works complement each other in an undeniable way. I would love to see these pieces hung beside each other in a gallery setting.

Yoomoo Cat after Higuchi Yuko

Higuchi Yuko Neko

Yoomoo Cat after Higuchi Yuko

Higuchi Yuko Neko

Finally, I will leave you with just a couple more irresistible images:

Yoomoo Horses

Yoomoo T-Rex

Yoomoo Ram

You can find more needle felt artwork by Yoomoo here: http://yoomoo.blog5.fc2.com/ and more illustrations and paintings by Higuchi Yuko here: http://higuchiyuko.tumblr.com/.

As always, thanks for reading! Would you like to be featured in this column? Discover a needle felt artist who you think I should profile? Please feel free to contact me! I would love to hear from you.

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Zoe Williams

Zoë Williams creates needle felt sculptures based on spirits, sacred creatures, and dreams. Her work is concerned with the intersection of the (inner) realm of the collective unconscious and the (outer) kingdom of nature. She lives and works in New York City.

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Felter Skelter - your essential needle felting column from Mr X Stitch!

Hungry? Feast your eyes on this smorgasbord of delectable felt goodies! I’ve gathered some of the best felt foods (needle felt and wet felt) from around the web, so I hope you will enjoy this artwork that’s good enough to eat.

Baltos Kandys

Baltos Kandys

Baltos Kandys

Baltos Kandys (Lithuania)

Fuzz.e.Food by Kerri Wessel Fuzz.e.Food by Kerri Wessel Fuzz.e.Food by Kerri Wessel

Fuzz.E.Food by Kerri Wessel (United States)

Angela Andrews/Woolly Duck Angela Andrews/Woolly Duck Angela Andrews/Woolly Duck

Angela Andrews/Woolly Duck (UK)
Unfortunately Angela doesn’t seem to have a website anymore, but here is an interview she gave in 2011 to UK Handmade which has a few more photos and some insights into her process.

Die Filzlaus/Beate Bossert Die Filzlaus/Beate Bossert Die Filzlaus/Beate Bossert

Die Filzlaus/Beate Bossert (Germany)

If you’re reaching for a snack right now, you are not alone. These are some seriously scrumptious creations. Thanks for reading, and bon appetit! :)

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Zoe Williams

Zoë Williams creates needle felt sculptures based on spirits, sacred creatures, and dreams. Her work is concerned with the intersection of the (inner) realm of the collective unconscious and the (outer) kingdom of nature. She lives and works in New York City.

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Felter Skelter - your essential needle felting column from Mr X Stitch!

It’s time for another installment of Best of Etsy! This time, I’ve chosen to highlight some of the more realistic creature creations. I think I gravitate to these because it’s so delightful to discover that something is made of felt after thinking it was a photo at first glance. These artists are adept at capturing fur, feathers, skin, and shell. Squint your eyes, and they will become real!

Daria Lvovsky, needle felted vulture Daria Lvovsky, needle felted jackrabbit Daria Lvovsky, needle felted vulture

These three are the work of Daria Lvovsky and they are some of my favorite pieces of needle felt artwork. The wool is so raw, yet somehow each piece manages to look strikingly lifelike. The vultures in particular are outstanding — each wisp of wool seems both unfinished and intentional. The overall effect is pretty mind-blowing; even after years spent working with fiber, this kind of loose technique completely eludes me. See more at https://www.etsy.com/shop/darialvovsky

Yvonnes Workshop, needle felted frog Yvonnes Workshop, needle felted snail Yvonnes Workshop, needle felted anteater

The next three are from Yvonne’s Workshop. Yvonne has an incredible talent with texture and color. The subtle mottling of color makes the skin of the frog and snail almost appear smooth, defying the wool’s inherent fuzziness, while the anteater is just the opposite, seeming to have both short and long fur! See more of her creations at https://www.etsy.com/shop/YvonnesWorkshop

Hannah Stiles/Ainigmati, needle felted fox familyHannah Stiles/Ainigmati, needle felted quail Hannah Stiles/Ainigmati, needle felted sandpiper

The final three are from Hannah Stiles/Ainigmati. Whether it’s feathers or fur, each piece is perfectly executed, but they also appear sort of soulful, gazing out from their slightly larger than life eyes. These creatures are clearly beloved by their creator, so it was no surprise to learn that Hannah’s-subjects are animals that she herself encounters on her farm and in the surrounding countryside. I think it’s wonderful that she puts her love of animals into each piece, AND that she is able to work with wool that she collects from her own flock of sheep! Read more about Hannah and see more of her work (although be warned, she has quite the waiting list!) at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Ainigmati

As always, thanks for reading!

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Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams creates needle felt sculptures based on spirits, sacred creatures, and dreams. Her work is concerned with the intersection of the (inner) realm of the collective unconscious and the (outer) kingdom of nature. She lives and works in New York City.

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Felter Skelter - your essential needle felting column from Mr X Stitch!

Last month, I brought you felt artwork in miniature, so in this month’s column, I would like to show you some equally amazing needle felt work that is larger than life! Like the very tiny, large scale is difficult to achieve in this medium, but not impossible! Read on for some fantastic examples.

Stephanie Metz, Large Flesh and Bone #1 Stephanie Metz, Large Flesh and Bone #2 Stephanie Metz, Flesh and Bone Installation View

Many of you are no doubt familiar with Stephanie Metz – she has been a pioneer of sculptural needle felting for over 10 years and her work is surely among the very best. Her most recent series, “Flesh and Bone” is no exception. These new pieces are developed first as sketches, then clay maquettes, then small scale studies (see pedestals in last photo above), then finally as finished pieces that are measured in feet rather than inches. She describes these sculptures as “human-scale” and that they are. At this size, they command attention in a more dramatic way; their visual weight evokes body parts in a way that simply is not possible in small scale. For more images of these and other pieces, please visit her website.

Hoyuki Sato, Big Kitty process Hoyuki Sato, Big Kitty Hoyuki Sato, Big Kitty

Perhaps the largest needle felted piece I have ever seen is the “Big Kitty” pictured above! This massive moggie is the work of Japanese artist Hoyuki Sato and his students. Its extreme size creates a humorous role reversal in which the human viewer, dwarfed by the sculpture, becomes the pet. Yes, this kitty pets you! The last photo above is especially wonderful to see because of the joy and excitement in everyone’s faces. I would be amazed too – this sculpture certainly stretches the medium beyond what I personally thought possible. For more images of this piece (and other equally wonderful, if smaller, works) please visit his website.

That’s all for this month. As always, thank you for reading and please feel free to contact me if you have needle felt artwork to share!

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Mr X