Hello there everybody and once again welcome to my little corner of the information super highway, ‘Exploring Etsy’. After the exciting exploration of punch needle embroidery in the last edition it’s time to look at another exciting and equally stabby technique that perhaps you’re all more familiar with: needle felting. Without further ado let me introduce you all to the lovely work of Gemma Bee and her Etsy shop ‘Buzzy Feltz’.
Are You Ready For Adventure?
As a mother to two young children Gemma is just starting to find the time to be creative again. Studying ceramics at A-level and getting a degree in Printed Textiles, felting has become a happy medium between the two. She first discovered felting three Christmases ago when she was given a kit and a book as a present, can I just take this moment to personally thank said gift giver, they did the creative world a huge favour! Ever since she has been exploring all things felt, the epitome of a resourceful crafter picking up books from the library and watching some of the fantastic tutorials out there on the interweb. I don’t know about you but I think she’s an absolute natural!
What is your earliest stitching memory?
My earliest memory of stitching goes back to when I was quite little, watching my Nana making clothes with her overlocker. My Grandad custom built her workbench and I loved how the colourful waste bits fell down a shoot into the bin on the floor. She made a little outfit out of some spare jersey for one of my teddy bears that I still have to this day. She also had a collection of buttons that I always got out and made pictures with on her workroom floor. I inherited those buttons and have used some of them to create my button rings. My Nana was also very into her cross stitch. My favourite one of hers was a large portrait of a female native American in a feathered headdress. Her walls are still covered in her creations though sadly she is no longer with us, they all trigger little happy memories of her.
What fires your imagination?
I get a lot of my inspiration from nature, the flowers, leaves, bugs and animals feature heavily in my work. I have always had a love of colour, usually bright colours and being daring with the colours you use together. I also get inspired by my children, kids have great imaginations and it helps to think like a child once in a while. We read a lot of books together, we love a well illustrated kids’ book in our house. I think this is why I like making the little characters. I don’t always start with a concrete idea of what the creature will look like, they sometimes just grow out of the wool. I always add the eyes last though because I don’t feel like I am stabbing a real creature until it has eyes! I make little finger puppets for my children and I have to hide a lot of my creatures as my youngest thinks I make them all for her.
Once again I urge readers old and new to head on over to her shop to check out all the other wonders on offer – I mean who can live without a pincushion ring now they’ve seen one!!
P.S – Hope you don’t mind this minor interruption to normal proceedings folks, but today is not only special because I get to share yet more gorgeous creations with you all, but because it’s marks a very special persons birthday…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!!
Jessica Taylor aka Loadofolbobbins is a Textile Artist and Illustrator based by the sea in Portsmouth. At her happiest with a needle and thread, with a passion for genealogy she often explores old photographs in her Textile art. With her fingers in many creative pies she loves to experiment with new techniques, creating illustrated and stitched goodies for her new Etsy shop.
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!