I've been an artist most of my life and worked in many mediums from acrylic and egg tempera paint to fabric, clay and wood. While I love painting and drawing, I particularly love working in three dimensions. When I discovered needle felting, it was like combining the best parts of painting, sewing, sculpture and carving into one.
I first tried needle felting in 2012 when I received an enormous amount of wool fleece after my first mother-in-law passed away. She had sheep and spun their wool for weaving and knitting, hand dyeing much of it using plants and fungi. Not being a spinner I had no idea of what to do with so much wool, until I stumbled across a book about needle felting and decided to give it a try. I bought a felting needle, grabbed a handful of raw brown fleece, and made a little brown bird.
I made another bird, and another, and I was hooked. My daughter suggested I open an online Etsy shop, so on a whim, I did. The orders started to trickle in slowly, then grew. I made birds for collectors, ornithologists, and conservation groups. What started out as a fun pastime has become pretty much a full time job.
Making needled felted birds allows me to combine my love of animals and nature with my love of making beautiful things by hand. Animals have always been a presence in my life, from dozens of rescue dogs and cats to farm animals and the wild creatures living in the surrounding landscape.
Making bird sculptures is also my small contribution toward raising awareness of the need to cherish and protect birds and our natural world.
I enjoy brief visits to cities but after a short time I can't wait to get home to our dogs and cats, my gardens, the old maple trees around the house, the sound of the brooks running through the fields, and the gentle curves of Mt. Anthony outlined against the sky.