How were you first introduced to felt?
I was first introduced to needle felting when my children were students at the Waldorf School. Within the year I sought out wet felting instruction which began with me traveling to learn from Sharon Costello.
What are you favorite wools with which to work?
My first thought is Finn wool from Rod Welch and Karoliina Arvilommi (in Finland). I am loving working right now with short fibre merino for sculptures and for bags, any combo of C-1/Pelsull. I also love karakul, especially locks as a hairy element.
From what do you get your inspiration?
How do I answer this without sounding cliche? I receive inspiration everywhere. My radar is always on. Things I see and hear that speak to me for unknown reasons percolate and come out in mysterious ways.
What is your background? (feel free to discuss family, education, prior artistic experience, whatever you care to share…)
As far as formal arts training this is limited to private art lessons while in high school and a very brief stint studying graphic design (measuring, cutting and pasting was not art to me). I later went on to become a law clerk and was on the path to law school when fate intervened and I embraced who I truly was rather than trying to prove something (thank goodness!) As far as feltmaking skill, I have worked very hard the last 11 years learning from the best feltmakers, applying their generous teachings and exploring on my own. I am very fortunate to have a large home studio where I can teach and work while still being available to my 3 boys and husband.
What are you favorite materials to combine with felt?
wood, glass, clay…
What would you like to try that you have not done before? (installation art, books, wearable’s, teaching, dyeing, raising your own sheep..or even a new artistic field or media…)
I have always been intrigued by encaustic painting and feel that the medium has many similarities to feltmaking. Other than that, I am so happy where I am and the direction that I am going. I could spend a lifetime felting and still grow and learn as an artist, feltmaker and craftsperson. With the versatility of our medium, what more is there to want?
Are you currently working on a special project that you would like to share?
Not really a “project”, per say, but I have recently begun teaching one-on-one via webcam with great success. I still teach at a few select locations and will continue to travel to do this, but for those from far lands or no travel budget, this is a wonderful option. I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and, once working, I forget my student is not right there with me.
Can you share with us 5 names of inspiring artists or work, not necessarily in the textile field.
Andy Goldsworthy, Frank Gehry, Hundertwasser, Seuss, Karoliina Arvilommi, Chris White.
From land art to architecture, subtle (and not so) political messages executed with humour, well made felt and the science of ‘Fiber Dynamics”…all tremendously inspirational.
If you could set up an exhibit (group or solo), where would you do it and what would it look like?
I would be part of a collaboration with other contemporary artists incorporating sound and film to create an installation or performance piece. Concept percolating.
Link to Andrea’s website: