Welcome to Felter Skelter, your essential guide for needle felting inspiration and ideas!
One of the best things about needle felting is how is inspires creations that put a smile on your face. Whether it’s the softness of the material, or the meditative quality of the process, there are so many wonderfully wistful woolly creations out there, and at Felter Skelter, we’re going to focus on this genre to add a bit of felty fun to your life!
I’ve seen felt used for many things and in many creative contexts, but as I am a fine artist myself, it always brings me joy to see felt in an art gallery. Below are some beautiful examples of fine artists making use of my favourite medium. Four artists with four visions, from narrative sculpture, to room-sized installation. Where possible, I’ve included excerpts from the artists’ own statements.
Nancy Mintz, Lunation
“I have spent most of my creative life dealing with issues of identity and the environment. Utilizing ideas found in science, nature and industry to explore my own language to construct worlds I understand. Often I use different materials and processes to present a struggle between humor and horror, industry and nature, the individual and the group.”
Minami Kawasaki, Home Sweet Home
Three rotund, pink puppies cuddle on a comfortable looking cushion. They are undoubtedly cute, but also more than a little strange. Two puppies seem to sleep, one’s mouth lolling open, while the third stares disconcertingly back at the viewer. I wasn’t able to find a website or any more information about Kawasaki, but you can see a few more photos of this piece here.
Claire Moynihan, Moth Balls & Bug Balls
“With an appreciation of the natural world and love of drawing Claire has been inspired to study insects and reproduce these as tiny embroideries on felt. She enjoys the humour in producing insects that are realistic and presenting them as traditional entomological collections. Her work is a celebration of insects some of which are ironically described as ‘pests’.” She does not have her own website, however this site has some information on her.
Rowland Ricketts, Fields of Indigo & Immanent Blue installations
“Rowland Ricketts utilizes natural dyes and historical processes to create contemporary textiles that span art and design.” His Fields of Indigo installation, a collaboration with sound artist Norbert Herber, leads visitors through the making of indigo from farm to dye. This process is integral to his art and textile design practice. The website link to view more is worth checking out.
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!