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!
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 etsy.com
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 etsy.
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 etsy.
As always, thanks for reading!
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.
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!