Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Fiber Arts Studio Tour

Last Saturday I went to a local Fiber Arts Studio in Big Rock, IL. It's called Esther's Place (I learned Esther is the name of a sheep!) and I think I'm still drooling a little bit. My friend's daughter is taking a spinning class there so Celia and I tagged along. Oh. My. Goodness. What a neat little shop filled with colorful soft wooly goodness. They say to fiber artists it's like a kid in a candy store, but I say it's more like crack to drug addict! (Not that I would know...) But seriously, what is it about little colorful balls of wool that make you feel so comfortable and cozy? Or maybe it was the owner's mother, Donna. Sweet lady, so easy to talk to, instant friend. She threw a bunch of wool roving on the table and let us sit and felt to our hearts content. 
I made a flower pin, my daughter's hands are working on a penguin and her friend Diana is busy with her creation. Diana and her sister and their mom are are pros at this. The whole family can do amazing things with yarn!

Every nook and cranny held some visual and textural delight, including this felted vessel. 
And how cute are these little curly haired felted sheep? Who knew you could felt natural curly sheep hair on a felted base like that? I didn't! And then there were the bins full of dyed curly hair! 
Oh, and who knew there was a MACHINE that could card your wool for you? I didn't either! 
I am in love with this wall hanging the owner, Natasha Lehrer, made. It just came back from an exhibit in Verona, Italy. It's made with hand dyed silk, wool, wire, cloth, oil pastels, beads and threads. It is absolutely gorgeous, pictures don't do it justice. 
Now I want to make one. I have a box of wool in various stages of "readiness" that my friend Anna sent me, and okay, like a crack addict, I HAD to have some of those colorful balls of goodness from here. (No, that's not my shopping cart, just a display!) I didn't know sheep come in so many different colors! (hehe)
Donna threw in for free, a felting foam pad and a couple of felting needles... and I have everything else I need to make something wonderful. I want to start out with a little mini project, abstract-like, maybe use some of the silk fibers and beads from my store, a little sparkle, a little bling...

Does anyone know where to start? What kind of base I would use? Any good fiber artists I should look up or you tube videos I should check out for inspiration? Any help would be appreciated!

Have a wild and wooly weekend!


  1. Holy Cow Lisa. You are like a crack dealer! This is all so tempting, (careful of those felting needles they felt fingers too - messy) Ha! This looks like so much fun, enjoy the new stuff.

  2. If you are wanting to felt something flat then I like to start with a blank piece of wool fabric (like an old sweater of blanket cut to the right size) and needle felt on that. Good luck!

  3. Sounds like a whole lotta fun!
    Enjoy your new project;-)


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