This month, I’d like to highlight a few pieces of functional felt artwork. The utilitarian aspect of the sculptures featured in this post is a reminder of the humble origins of this medium, but make no mistake – function takes a back seat to form here! These sculptures are both lovely and strange and I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do.
These are two animal purses by Polish artist Galina Blazejewska (more at https://www.etsy.com/shop/galafilc). Fully realized sculptures in their own right, they are also hollow so that items can be carried inside. Her octopus pieces feature a clasp atop the head, but her fish and frog designs incorporate the clasp into the sculpture itself, serving as the creature’s mouth. I think the odd combination of animal and bag is interesting – do they evoke an innocent love of animals, or do they make a statement about bending nature to our will?
Can you guess what these pieces are used for? No? Here is a hint – they are from German artist Susanne Karg’s shop Felt for Cat (https://www.etsy.com/shop/feltforcat). That’s right, they are cat beds or “cat caves”! Each piece has a large hollow interior for your cat to crawl into and enjoy. My particular favorites are the seashells pictured above, because I’m tickled pink imagining a cat’s head poking out of the shell like an enormous hermit crab. But all that aside, these cat beds are beautifully constructed with wonderful attention to detail. I don’t think you need a cat to appreciate them!
Brooklyn artist Rae Stimson creates wearable landscapes out of felt, like these two incredible hats. The first is a kitchen scene that puts me in mind of The Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. The second is a detailed landscape scene depicting a WWII battle in which tiny Panzer tanks destroy a bridge. These pieces are moments frozen in time and the act of wearing one literally “on top of mind” gives them a significance and weight that would not otherwise be present. Find more of her creations at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RaeStimson.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to submit your portfolio for the column! As you can see, the possibilities are endless, so happy felting!