Home / Art8 Contemporary Textile Artists Who Craft Elaborate Sculptures From Felt

8 Contemporary Textile Artists Who Craft Elaborate Sculptures From Felt

Contemporary Felt Artists

The art of felting has had somewhat of a resurgence over the past few years. Artists are drawn to the soft woolen material because of its amazing versatility and durability. Rendered by subtly blending and sculpting the wispy, colorful fibers, there are endless possibilities when it comes to felt art. Contemporary artists around the world are taking the traditional craft to new heights by turning soft, fluffy wool into sculptural works of art.

What is felting?

One of the oldest forms of textile art, felting involves matting, condensing, and pressing woolen fibers together. While store-bought sheets of felt fabric are made using hot water, needle felting mimics the same process but is instead carried out using a felting needle. The technique involves moving the felt fibers back and forth using the many sharp barbs on the needle, pulling the fibers in and locking them into place. Almost any shape can be formed from felt—the only limit is your imagination!

Want to learn the basics of needle felting? Check our guide for how to craft your own adorably fuzzy creations.

8 Contemporary Artists Who Work With Felting Wool

 

Lucy Sparrow

 

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After setting up a textile “London corner store” in 2014, “Feltist” Lucy Sparrow’s latest project is a 2,800-square-foot supermarket, where every “product” is made entirely out of soft felt. Located in downtown Los Angeles’s Standard Hotel, Sparrow Mart is filled with 31,000 fluffy felted groceries, making it the artist’s fifth large-scale installation. The shelves are packed with recognizable, everyday snacks such as Pringles, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes, and much more.

With the help of five assistants, Sparrow spent a year crafting the incredible installation. Each plush object is hand-stitched and stuffed—even the labels are laboriously painted by hand.

 

Wakuneco

 

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Japanese artist Wakuneco creates hyperrealistic hand-felted cat faces that look as though they might “meow” at any second. Each three-dimensional felted feline is made by painstakingly poking layers of wool with a needle until the fibers gradually compact and form into solid shapes. Featuring lifelike glass eyes and whiskers, the artist bases each piece on a picture of a real-life kitty, adding and trimming each unique marking as she goes.

 

Elin Thomas

Contemporary Felt Artists

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Contemporary Felt Artists

Photo courtesy of the artist.

While most people shudder at the thought of mold, artist Elin Thomas pays homages to fuzzy fungus with her felt fiber art. Small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, Thomas first fills shallow vessels with a felted wool base before building a myriad of tangible textile textures on top. The artist’s techniques include crochet, needle felting, and embroidery, resulting in furry forms that really look like growing spores under a microscope.

 

Simon Brown

 

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England-based felt artist Simon Brown creates realistic forest animals out of wool. The crafty fiber artist sources worn-out household tools like hard-wearing bristle brushes and turns them into miniature scenes for his felted wildlife. In one piece, a short, stiff brush becomes a tree branch for a perching owl, and in another, a dense hair brush with thick bristles forms a lush meadow for two rabbits.

 

Dani Ives

 

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Self-taught fiber artist Dani Ives combines her love of nature with her educational background in biology and conservation to create felt portraits of animals. Ives describes her method as “painting with wool,” in which she uses a felting needle to apply layers of fur-like felt fibers like brushstrokes to create depth and merges of color. Each piece is packed with detail, making them appear like textile photorealistic paintings.

 

Next: More artist who create felt masks, toys, and landscapes.

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