At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
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Jaana Mattson’s Landscapes in Wool: The Art of Needle Felting is published by Schiffer Publishing. Within this book, you will find five step-by-step tutorials and fifty showings of the artist, Jaana Mattson’s original artwork. You will discover needle felted landscape scenes and how to create your own versions. Colour theory, the tools required and education into wool fibres are all covered to give you the best chance of achieving successful results from your own trials. Will this book inspire you?
About The Author
Jaana Mattson works as a practicing artist and teacher, specialising in a rather unusual combo of materials – wool fibre and wood! She has a background in fine art, thus her training in this regard formed the style of needle felting she is now known for. Driven by her love of the natural world and in particular landscapes, she creates colourful works, which are often housed in wooden frames.
Her website tells us: ‘After designing and producing art jewelry for 10 years, Jaana returned to her mixed-media roots to explore craft in new and sculptural dimensions through welding, stained glass, encaustic medium and fibers combined with found objects. Her current body of wood and fibre work emerged from this study of diverse media, with a sole focus on developing her techniques in needle felted landscapes since 2014.’
Her website showcases the book too and also gives more information about Mattson’s work.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Those who are taking up needle-felting will find this very inspirational. Stunning examples are seen throughout, along with detailed instructions to create a wonderful resource perfect for both beginners and those who are familiar with felt making as a technique but who wish to try a different method within felt making as a craft.
We loved the different style of content page, so often we come across a bog standard list, but this was a little different:
The book begins with a quote – every page has been thought out….
This book isn’t a simple how to felt guide. It has much more to it, it really is a work of art as a publication. It celebrates the ability of this artist and also brings to light the world in which we live. So much can be found to be inspired by within the natural world; so much beauty.
Fine details are explained early on. The way the book is written will not offend the more experienced felted, nor will it confuse the beginner. It has a balanced feel.
Tools are outlined…
Above you will find an image discussing colour theory. This is an important part of needle-felting as colour combination in required in order to make the painterly style as focused upon within this book. Blended fibre combinations translate into landscape scenes well, providing a fine art vibe. Thus this is an important part of the book.
The artist has used many white backgrounds throughout the art work placement of this book. This style of photography works well as it makes the art stand out:
When you get a copy of this book yourself, you will discover that the step-by-step educational side of this book has been clearly illustrated with many images – leaving no room for any confusion or getting lost from one stage to another.
What Makes The Book Special?
The double page spread formulas to really show off the artists work works well. The artist covers a niche’ area here, she works in both wood and felt – handy eh? She can frame her work beautifully in a completely artisan style without the need to bring a framer on board. Maybe this will give us ideas for our own work. Do we ourselves have a gift in another way with would compliment our felt art?
Anything Wrong With The Book?
Unlike other books, this one focuses on the artist as titled. It does not bring in like minded artists or similar work. Thus if you do not like the style of her work, you will not find the book interesting.
That being said, her work crosses fine art and textiles as well as bringing in themes we can all relate to – namely the world around us, the countryside and landscape we may easily take for granted.
Why not join this award winning artist and now author and visually explore the methods of needle felting in a landscape setting.
To conclude, we will remind you that there are five step-by-step tutorials in this book, all based in the dry method of needle felting. Learn many basic techniques which will help you whatever your style of felt making.
From beginners to those with a higher experience of training – all will find something educational within this publication.
Finally, if you enjoyed this book review and want to discover other fine art felt making publications, check out this review of Moy Mackay’s publication, which has a similar vibe.
One last word!
If you are a little stuck trying to decide on needle-felting tools and want some to help you get started, why not check out this post which may help, all about needle felting!
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!