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.
Within Jaana Mattson’s Landscapes in Wool: The Art of Needle Felting you will find five step-by-step tutorials and fifty showings of the artists 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 included to give you the best chance of achieving successful results. Will this book inspire you?
About The Author
Jaana Mattson works as a practising artist and teacher and creates “new and sculptural dimensions through welding, stained glass, encaustic medium and fibres”. With a background in fine art, this formal training has informed a distinct style of needle felting Mattson is now known for.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
The book is aimed at beginners of needle felting. This is due to a wide selection of applications, detailed instructions, and inspiring examples throughout. All of these features make Landscapes in Wool highly accessible. The in-depth tutorials mean that you can shape the technique to fit a personal style of working, perfect for those wishing to create unique pieces of art that reflect their own visions.
Within this book there are five step-by-step tutorials all based in the dry method of needle felting.
We begin with the contents page. Delivered in a vibrant and easy-to-read style, we loved the clear distinction of sections:
Fine details are explained early on, meaning that there is no stone left unturned. There is a clear description of tools and materials, detailing the finest instructions including “fibre characteristics” meaning the reader can fully connect to and understand their materials before beginning.
What is particularly helpful about Landscapes in Wool is how well-rounded the book is. For example the author makes sure to include important details often overlooked like Colour Theory. We learn how important colour theory is to needle-felting, a requirement for making the ‘painted style” shown in the artists own work. Blended fibre combinations translate into landscape scenes well, secrets from Mattson own practice that are very kindly shared with the reader.
Many high-quality images of the artist’s work can be found throughout, filling whole pages with inspiration. As we have learnt, it’s the fine details and blending of colours that are the secrets to top needle felting, which is why it is crucial the standard of photography is so high.
What Makes The Book Special?
The details throughout Landscapes in Wool mean the book is not only a simple how-to guide, but instead a stand-alone work of art. It celebrates the experiences and inner visions of Jaana Mattson and helps us to see and capture the world though the artist’s eyes. Finding inspiration in the natural world is something everybody can experience, and now capture in unique ways with Needle Felting.
The book also pays homage to the generations of women that came before us, never forgetting the historic textiles that have inspired the fibre arts of today.
Displaying our artwork in a way that does the work the most justice can be tricky. Jaana Mattson goes the extra mile to finish her pieces, creating high-quality and hand-crafted wooden frames. It is touches like these that turn your projects into high-quality works of art.
Anything Wrong With The Book?
With Mattson’s work crossing over from Needle Felting into Fine Art, there is a distinct style throughout. Exploring our local landscapes through new art forms has a wide appeal. That being said, for those interested in more abstract and graphic art, this may not be for you.
To conclude, there are five step-by-step tutorials in this book, all based in the dry method of needle felting. You can learn many basic techniques, perfect for beginner needle-felters or those wishing to add to their skills. Skilfully display your work in beautiful frames, or simply use the book as a way to explore more of Jaana Mattson’s work.
Why not join this award-winning artist-turned author-in the visual exploration of our landscape through needle-felting?
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. Or 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.
Landscapes in Wool: The Art of Needle Felting is published by Schiffer Publishing.