Wild and Wooly World: Adventures in Needle Felting sculpted, not stuffed...
I will take part in the 2019 Silicon Valley Open Studios on May 18-19 and show some of my work at my home in El Granada. See svos.org for more info and address.
There is something wonderful about wool fiber. It is soft, light, and warm. It has all kinds of natural colors and then you can dye it too. Next, there is the 'magic part'; how the needle felting needle interlocks the fibers and creates form and shape. Also, you can pick up your needle and wool, work on it, put it down, go off, or bring it along... No major set up and clean up...just be sure to keep your needles safe. Finally, there is a satisfying crunch sound every time you poke the wool with your needle (or, failing that, you poke your finger and agony!).
I've been 'artsy' and 'craftsy' all my life, but discovered wool and needle felting 10 years ago and it has stuck with me since. Working in wool suits me as compared to watercolors or oil. I like to start with one idea and then let things develop as I'm working. I pull off the wool or cut it out with scissors and redo what I don't like, I can try things and take it off. With watercolor you have to know what you are doing or you loose the purity of the colors, overworking makes it dull and grey. Even oils and acrylics will not allow too much redoing and too many layers of failed attempts. A tapestry in wool is more forgiving, you can work on it forever. You can also explore the 3D aspect and the contrast between the wool fibers and thread, floss, beads and fabric. Wool seems a natural for making clouds and rolling hills and furry animals.
I'm Swedish, but have lived in California for 20 years, and this fall both my kids will be in college. We moved to the little Coastside community of El Granada 4 years ago and love the setting and beautiful scenery. Our two cats and one dog love it here too.
Birgitta Bower in El Granada
All you need... ... a needle ...foam ...and wool
‘Morning Fog’. I left my car for an oilchange and walked my dog on the Pillar Poing bluff. I was inspired by the drops caught in the spiderwebs stretched out in the bushes.
’Morning Fog’ won first prize at the juried all media show at Coastal Arts League in June 2018. The theme was ‘Fond Memories’.
Coastal bluff with iceplants. From Wavecrest towards the Ritz.
About 37" x 29" (94 x 73 cm)
Hay Harvest Coastside July.
About 30" x 25" (78 x 63 cm)
Coastal Hills and agriculture.
About 26.5" x 26" (67 x 65 cm)
Crab Season at Princeton Harbor.
About 25" x 24" (63 x 60 cm)
Seashore. Seagulls, snowy plovers and willet. About 20" x 18" (50 x 46 cm)