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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
What Technique Is This?
Needle Felting is the process of using a notched or “barbed” needle to compress layers of wool into denser felt that can be manipulated to create 3D sculptures. It is different to wet felting, which uses water to combine wool fibres, and these days there are a range of felting tools available that can enable you to make your own soft sculptures with ease!