• JessFELT

Felt ARTIST or FELT Artist? The felted illustration challenge

You might easily assume that wool is the key ingredient for a felt artist....well, yes and no. Yes, ha ha, insofar as you do need wool to make felt (FELT Artist), but, no, in the sense that if I didn't have my arty instincts then I wouldn't need any wool because i wouldn't have anything to felt (Felt ARTIST).

Well, my arty instincts have been firmly challenged these past few weeks by a commission of a non-woolly nature...although I couldn't resist slipping in the odd sheep or two. My mission was to design some fun postcard illustrations based on passages in the bible relating to love, and believe it or not, food!! The mind boggles does it not?! Well, here are a few examples:

I had no idea there was so much food in the bible!! Apples, figs, pistachio nuts, corn, bread, beef, leeks and lentils - something for everyone, meat eaters and vegetarians! And this commission has inspired me to experiment more with felt illustration. I'd say that my current felt pictures are painterly in style but I'd like to recreate that pen and ink effect (illustration/animation) - fine lines and blocks of colour - to create some small and extra special (and affordable) felt pictures.


To be honest, it's not the style that's the challenge it's the size. I am, by nature, a felter who likes felting large pieces (being 6ft+ that's not really surprising!) using handfuls of fibre to cover lots of space and create a sense of movement. There's a limit to the amount of detail you can add to a picture during the wet felting stage though which means I'd need to do lots more needle felting. Now, if you have large hands and are working with a very thin needle in a very small space doing something which requires lots of small movements and insy winsy wisps of wool, that's quite a lot of hard work and LOTS of control is needed. Hmmm, a challenge I intend to rise towards....watch this space!!


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