Felter Skelter

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

While most needle felt work tends to be smaller than life size, the medium doesn’t lend itself well to the extreme small scale. Fine detail is difficult to achieve when the piece is smaller than the felting needle itself, not to mention the increased risk of getting a sharp poke to the finger for your trouble. Still, some artists manage to produce wonderful miniatures using the technique, so I’ve dedicated this month’s column to all that is terrifically tiny.

Handmade by November, needle felted guinea pig Handmade by November, needle felted dog Handmade by November, needle felted owl

These first three are the work of Vera Megorskaya/Handmade by November. Most of her creatures are small enough to sit on your fingertip, however even at that size they still manage to have lots of personality. My favorites are the wee guinea pigs. I had guinea pigs as a child and I think she has captured their shy yet inquisitive nature perfectly. For more of Vera’s creations, check out her Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadeByNovember

Mikepanchi Animals, needle felted cat Mikepanchi Animals, needle felted dog Mikepanchi Animals, needle felted cat

These next three are from Mikepanchi Animals. These are perhaps some of the most realistic felt pets I’ve seen at this size. Maybe it’s the little additions like the dog’s bandana or the cat’s whiskers that make them so convincing, but there is no doubt a great deal of skill involved in creating each one. For more, check out Mikepanchi on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mikepanchiAnimals

Motley Mutton, needle felted sloth Motley Mutton, needle felted llama Motley Mutton, needle felted opossum

Last but not least, here are some fantastic miniature felt creatures by Nancy Bevins/Motley Mutton. These not only serve as miniature sculptures, but also as wearable art. I especially like the way she has incorporated the string into each piece; whether the animal’s pose is realistic (like the sloth) or more whimsical (like the llama), it’s not just a hanging device. I’m completely charmed by their friendly faces and I bet wearing one would make people smile all day. Her shop is currently empty, but here’s hoping she ads more soon! https://www.etsy.com/shop/motleymutton

I’ve always been a huge fan of extremely tiny things, and I’m very pleased to have one of my very own miniature felt sculptures in a show coming up next month: “Minuscule” at Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, CA. Check it out for more mini goodness and as always, thanks for reading!

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

After moving my own shop to Etsy recently, I figured it was high time to get acquainted with the other needle felt artists there. I was pleased to discover that I’m in good company, and my list of favorites continues to grow!  So now, without further ado, here is the first installment of what I will call “Best of Etsy” – my favorite felty finds from the Etsy marketplace.

Desiree-Marie Müller/CrittersbyDesireeDesiree-Marie Müller/CrittersbyDesireeDesiree-Marie Müller/CrittersbyDesiree

First up is Desiree-Marie Müller/CrittersbyDesiree. Desiree has a unique and delicate style. Little touches of color and antique fabrics adorn her sculptures, which she notes are inspired by a love of Japanese Kawaii culture. I love the seamless union of cuteness and melancholy, which is especially apparent in the third photo above. On one side, an adorable strawberry, but the other side reveals mold and decay; an exquisite “memento mori” rendered in felt!

Olga/TwoSadDonkeys Olga/TwoSadDonkeysOlga/TwoSadDonkeys

Next up is Olga/TwoSadDonkeys. Olga’s creatures are delightful. Her masterful use of color and texture gives each piece a fanciful and dreamy aesthetic. I particularly like the delicate embroidery on some pieces, which evokes a warm spring morning or a twinkling starry sky. Some pieces are also functional puppets with legs that dangle on string, for putting on a magical puppet show!

Janine Gardner/FoxtailCreekStudio Janine Gardner/FoxtailCreekStudio Janine Gardner/FoxtailCreekStudio

Finally, I bring you the fantastic fungi of Janine Gardner/FoxtailCreekStudio. Her tiny terrariums double as pin cushions, but I can’t imagine poking pins into something so cute! These precious scenes are taken directly from the forest floor – not literally, but Janine finds her inspiration in nature and it shows. I adore everything about these, from the subtle earth tones to the dainty mushroom stalks.

That’s all for this month, but I look forward to showing you more of my favorites in future columns. In the meantime, happy shopping, and if you see any wonderful wool work, please send it my way!

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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!

This is part 3 of my ongoing series on what I like to call “character felt”. These are felt sculptures that tell a story. They are often, but not always (as you’ll see below), anthropomorphic animals. I keep coming back to this topic again and again because of the wealth of wonderful work out there. After all, needle felt seems perfectly suited to expressions of the imagination.

Miss Bumbles needle felted foxMiss Bumbles needle felted muleMiss Bumbles needle felted guinea pig

First up is Miss Bumbles, alter ego of illustrator Ruth Rivers. Her Etsy shop is full of the most delightful creatures (find more at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MissBumbles). Small animals like hedgehogs, foxes, and guinea pigs are all impeccably dressed in tiny handmade clothes, but the real magic is in their expressions. Looking at these creatures, I can easily imagine a whole miniature world where there are no people at all.

Felting Dreams needle felted mouse Felting Dreams needle felted mouse Felting Dreams needle felted mice

Next is Johanna Molina/Felting Dreams. Her world is home to adorable felted mice, who also sport handmade clothes and accoutrements. Their faces are full of wit and whimsy. I particularly like the sleeping pair pictured above, because even wee mousies need a warm bed in which to dream. You can find more of Johanna’s creations in her shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/feltingdreams and read her feature on the Etsy blog at https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/featured-shop-felting-dreams/.

All Good Wishes needle felted radish All Good Wishes needle felted skunkAll Good Wishes needle felted beet

These next three are from Heide M./All Good Wishes. She makes all sorts of creatures for all occasions, but my favorites are definitely her vegetables. Their oversized eyes and gangly limbs are so charming; they look like they have stepped right off the pages of a book. Find more of her creations at http://www.flickr.com/photos/allgoodwishes/.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s column as much as I have, and if you’ve made it this far, maybe you won’t mind if I shamelessly plug my own work a tiny bit. This month through April, I have an installation up at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York , so if you’re in the area and need to get your yarn fix, I hope you’ll pop in and check it out!

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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!

This month marks one year since I took over this column. It has been a pleasure bringing you my favorite needle-felted artwork and I look forward to more great things in 2014.

Sarah Mandell needle felted Cacti

To kick off the new year, I give you the wonderful work of Sarah Mandell, aka Once Again Sam. Sarah is a multi-talented artist and needle felting is only one of her many talents. I discovered her work recently thanks to a feature on the blog Gorilla Glue and immediately fell in love with her miniature cactus gardens. The arrangements not only tiny and cute, they are exquisitely crafted. The variety and attention to detail in each piece is fantastic.

Sarah Mandell needle felted Cacti

Sarah Mandell needle felted Cacti

You can find many more of Sarah’s creations on her website and her Etsy shop. And how cute is this felted worm?!

Sarah Mandell needle felted wormThis month also marks a special milestone for me. I will be curating my very first show: DREAMLANDS at A Ship in the Woods in Del Mar, CA. The show opens Friday, January 24th and features the work of eight extremely talented artists: Shaun Beaudry, Cory Benhatzel, Heather Gargon, Sarah Gramelspacher, Caitlin Hackett, Robert Kraiza, Allison Sommers, and Nicomi Nix Turner. And just to keep it interesting for you felt fanatics, I’ve sent a couple of my wee creatures off to sunny California as well. If you are in the area, I hope you will stop by and say hello!

DREAMLANDS curated by Zoe Williams

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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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