Meet the past Crafters of the Month:
Dianne of Brown Rabbit Feltworks
How did you get started crafting?
My mother taught me to knit when I was a young girl and as an adolescent I took up beading but at the ripe old age of 50 something I now consider myself a fiber artist combining needle & wet felting.
My journey into the fiber arts began with a trip to the Oregon coast in 2004. I had stopped in a book store in Coos Bay that had a display with a small needle felted gnome and a “how to” book by a local author Ayala Talpai. The gnome was adorable the process intriguing so I bought both and headed back to my busy life in Seattle only to set the gnome and book aside for some time.
Fast forward to 2008 and a move to eastern Washington where one of my new neighbors was a spinner. She taught me about wool and spinning which renewed my interest in the fiber arts so I pulled out that book I’d purchased 4 years earlier and with some wool from my neighbor I started stabbing. My first creation was a small rooster and from there I made some simple birds and Easter eggs in a pysanka style incorporating yarn to create patterns.
“My flirtation with fiber ebbed and flowed…”
My flirtation with fiber ebbed and flowed after that finally fully blossoming 4 years ago. YouTube was my friend! An incredible world of talented fiber artists happy to share their knowledge and love of felting opened up to me and I ran with it. Then came the pandemic which oddly enough opened up more opportunities for learning as artists began offering Webinars and Zoom classes to make up for not being able to meet in person. It was a real silver lining because it allowed me to connect and learn from people across the globe.
What inspires your creativity?
I am constantly inspired by the many amazing fiber artists that I have connected with online and through videos from across the world. In Hungary (Corinna Nitschmann, Nadia Szabó, Bea Németh, Mihály Vetró, Márti Csille) , the UK (Lena Archbold, Glayds Paulus, Moy Makay, Jenny Barnett), the Netherlands (Annemie Koenen), Australia (Nancy Ballesteros) Ukraine (Diana Nagorna), Russia (Maria Shtrik) , Canada (Fiona Duthie) and across the US (Marie Spaulding of Living Felt, Dawn Edwards, Laura Ricks, Anna Reptke, Camy Wogu, Joyce Hazlerig).
“Each and every one of these artists are amazing…”
Each and every one of these artists are amazing and brings so much to the table from their deep knowledge and understanding of the felt making process to the historical significance of patterns and ancient traditions and how they give birth to new understanding. Their gift of knowledge is truly priceless. Above all they’ve taught me that anything is possible when it comes to the fiber arts if only you dare to dream.
What types of projects do you love to create?
I love to needle felt. It’s amazing how relaxing stabbing wool can be. One of my go-to projects for when I need to work something out in my head with a more complicated project is to make needle felted catnip toys. Catnip grows wild on my farm so one day I decided to harvest, dry it and incorporated it into cat toys that are sold to benefit local cat rescues.
I also love making whimsical wreaths, wall hangings, scarves, hats and seasonal items like pumpkins and snowmen. That said my true desire is to create sculpted textured art using a process of both needle and wet felting with the addition of other elements like knitting, sewing and beading. I love working with wool and silk (nuno felting) but and intrigued by the possibility of working in other elements like metal, glass and wood.
Get in the Hall of Fame
We want to hear from you! If you would like to be featured as a Crafter of the Month, fill out the form below and include any pictures of projects you are proud of.