Thursday, March 31, 2011

FEATURED ARTIST

Here is a fiber artist who is a felter and wait until you see what she felts -



Come and meet the artist, Alice -

Briefly describe what you make?

I create needle felted dogs. Needle felting is done by stabbing different types of fibers with a sharp, barbed needle to shape and sculpt it. Pieces take thousands of tiny stabs to finish. I use photographs provided by the client to make miniatures of their own dog using this needle stabbing method.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Most times the type dog dictates what fiber I need to use. I love to work with alpaca fiber, because it is so luxurious. I also use merino roving top which is also a very lovely fiber. The core of the dog is made from less expensive wool over a wire frame, with the special fibers finishing the exterior. The wire frame allows the dog to be gently posed. Finally, I use glass eyes because they are 'shiny', more like real eyes, and polymer clay for the noses.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been making these little dogs for about a year and a half. However, I've been crafting all my life. I love to do all types of needlework, very intricate scherenschnitte and I sew on occasion. I recently had a little fling with terrariums, making them for family and friends. My love of making things is very ingrained. My mother, my grandmother and family were always creating something artistic. My aunt was a well known artist in my small hometown at a time when that was a relatively unique career choice. I have all of them to thank for my artistic abilities.

How did you get started?

I started the little dogs after learning of needle felting on Etsy. I am so crazy about my own dogs and even the dogs of others, it just seemed to be the thing to do. There are some excellent needle felters on Etsy and they are very inspiring. I learned from different blogs: gourmetfelted is one, and on youtube with Kay Petal of Felt Alive. These are just two astonishingly great artists who are willing to share their knowledge with others.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

Actually, my name was made spur of the moment late at night for the purpose of buying something from Etsy (you have to have an account to purchase as well as to sell). I never really had considered having a shop myself. But as I said before, I am always making something and I love doing it, thus, makingstuffwithlove seemed to fit. I wasn't very specific because I am always trying new things. Luckily the name worked when I got ready to make my little dogs, because I certainly love making them, probably more than all the different things I've tried up until now.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I'd want people to know how much love and caring go into each one. That to me they gain little spirits. I normally know the name of who I'm working on and they are very real to me through clients that tell me stories of their behaviors and personalities. I literally can't get enough of it, and it actually helps in creating the individual dog. I can relate to these owners so well as I read of their love for their dogs. I live fighting the urge to own every needy dog in the world, so this helps me to curb that appetite.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

First of all, I'm usually getting the advice, not giving it... I guess I'd have to say that to be happy with your art, you have to be doing something that you love. For me, to have been able to connect an art to dogs has been monumental. Of all the crafts I've done in the past, this is the one that fits just right. Customer service is of utmost importance to me. I work very closely with my clients and it is so rewarding, so I'm a big fan of custom work. I realize this doesn't happen in every niche, but if it fits you, I'd encourage others to try it. It makes art a living, breathing thing :)

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You have to go and see what Alice makes. Visit her shop now on Etsy!

5 comments:

makingstuffwithlove said...

Thank you so much for featuring me :) I enjoyed doing it very much!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

This was a wonderful blog. So great to hear how Alice makes the dog, and how much she loves doing it. I already know how great her customer service is and how much she enjoys chatting with the customer and learniing about their dogs.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Oh, thank you for sharing this shop - her dogs are adorable. I can only imagine how much work and love goes into each one!

PetsJubilee said...

What a wonderful feature! I loved it! Alice is so great and so talented :)

Art and Sew Forth said...

I can't say enough good about Alice. I have two needle felted dogs she has made and I still marvel at not only the general quality construction, but, as she says in the interview, the personality she captures. They really DO look like their own persons! She is the sweetest lady. Her love is all over her creations. Wonderful interview...thank you for showing her off!