Zoe Williams with Needle Felt Artwork

Felter Skelter – Hello!

Felter Skelter - your essential needle felting column from Mr X Stitch!
Hi everyone, I’m Zoe Williams and for my first Felter Skelter post, I would simply like to introduce myself and tell you a little about my work. I am an artist and wool sculptor. I live in New York City. I love animals!

Zoe Williams with Needle Felt Artwork

I went to school for art (University of New Orleans, BA 2005), but I did not discover needle felting until 2008. At that time, I was bored with traditional media and interested instead in blurring the line between craft and fine art. Needle felt initially struck me as something that I could use to push that boundary, but working with the material uncovered a sincere affinity for soft sculpture. The first needle-felted sculpture I made was a white rabbit, after a dream I’d had in which I was visited by a powerful and wise rabbit spirit. That portentous dream caused a huge conceptual shift in my work that culminated with my first ever solo exhibition two years later titled Somnium Bestia (roughly: dream animals).

Dream imagery continues to have a strong influence on my work, but I am equally compelled by the plight of living creatures, so my current body of work delves into themes of rarity and sacredness. My second solo show will be held at Ghost Gallery in Seattle this April.

Zoe Williams WIP with felting tools

Now that you know a little about me, perhaps you’d like to know a little more about how I work. My sculptures are created entirely from wool roving; many people ask if there is an armature or form inside, but the answer is no: it’s just wool upon wool. I mainly use a mix of Romney and Merino, but sometimes I incorporate other natural fibers like silk and feathers. Most of the time I use only a single felting needle, because I think it gives me better control than the multi-needle tool.

I am thrilled to be taking over the monthly felt column for Mr. X and I look forward to showing off some of my favorite fellow felters along with other wooly wonders from the world wide web! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have needle felt artwork to share.

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