Crafter Wall of Fame

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.

Aileen Wilcox

How did you get started crafting?

Art has always been a large part of my life, and my mother taught me to crochet, sew, and embroider at a young age. Growing up, they were practical skills that allowed me to mend clothing and create items for my dolls and toys. As an adult, I have often found crafting to be a creative outlet for reducing stress and slowing down in order to live in the present moment.

Crocheting a blanket or sweater takes time, and you can’t really rush the process. Trying to hurry through a pattern can sometimes mean dropping stitches or making a mistake that requires frogging an hour (or more!) of work. And learning a new skill – or stitch – takes even more time.

Fiber skills used to be passed down from generation to generation.

When my husband’s grandmother started losing her memory in 2021, I knew I needed to ask her to teach me how to knit. If you’ve done any work with yarn yourself, you know that learning hands-on with an expert can make all the difference. We live in a time where information is just a few strokes of the keyboard away, but fiber skills used to be passed down from generation to generation, and I wanted to hold onto that legacy for her. She no longer remembers that she taught me how to knit, but I cherish that time with her so much.

What inspires your creativity?

Oh, I am constantly inspired! Nature is my constant muse, and you’ll often find me creating with the greens and blues that I see so often here in the Pacific Northwest. I also love seeing other creators and artists online, and am always getting new ideas from Instagram and Ravelry.

There is community here, which I believe creativity definitely stems from.

I think a lot of the time, art feels like such a solitary process, and it is in the sense that usually the artist is creating with just their own two hands. But just along the fringes of that is the world of artists all around us – the ones whose work we aspire to, or whose ideas plant a seed for a project of our own. There is community here, which I believe creativity definitely stems from.

What types of projects do you love to create?

Crocheting and knitting are my two favorites, and I have created an assortment of blankets, hats, scarves, bags, and sweaters over the years. The truth, though, is that I simply love to create. I enjoy the creative process! So I have experience with embroidery, felting, cross-stitch, and weaving as well. I’m currently really enjoying making baby clothes and blankets for my sister who is expecting this fall.

Pamela Frame

How did you get started crafting?

I have had a long career as a performing cellist and teacher. I’ve given concerts all over the world, worked with great teachers and colleagues, and enjoy following the successes of my students who now play and teach throughout the world themselves. Though my career was in music, I have always been making something, including a life – sized papier-mâché head of an elephant for a social function when I was a high school student.

“I remember my first shoebox full of crayons, pencils, tape and paper which my mother gave me so that I could work along with Captain Kangaroo on television.”

I make painted wooden beads for art jewelry, sewed 1,000 masks during the first years of Covid, and enjoy making fanciful flowers and floral scenes from Italian crepe paper. I remember my first shoebox full of crayons, pencils, tape and paper which my mother gave me so that I could work along with Captain Kangaroo on television. To this day, the thought of a shoebox full of art materials fills me with excitement.

What inspires your creativity?

It was those floral scenes I created with crepe paper which first led me to working with fiber. I started with needle-felting, which was soon followed with my discovery of the process of Nuno-felting. This is my favorite medium as an artist. When asked how long it takes me to make a silk and wool wrap, my answer is “all my life”.

Pamela Frame is a Rochester native, although she lived in NYC for many years, and is happily married with two very talented adult sons and an idiot dog named “Happy”, whom she adores.

If you’re interested in Pamela’s work, a few pieces are available to purchase from Handwoven Originals in Santa Fe, NM. You can also see more of her creations on her website, Pamela Frame Arts.

Dorothea Collins

How did you get started crafting?

My love for crafting and the fiber arts began with learning how to knit from my “Oma” when I was around six years old. That first “thread” has appeared and reappeared throughout my whole life, whether it was in crocheting, embroidering, spinning, weaving, silk painting, sewing, painting, or felting. Fibers have always created the balance I needed to all the other aspects of life.

“Fibers have always created the balance I needed…”

What inspires your creativity?

My creativity has been inspired by looking, observing, and experiencing the world around me day after day, and by the many generous teachings and sharing of so many other crafters and artists (Gladys Strong, Elin Inman-George, Sylvia Martschiske, Gail Harker, Mike Moran, Aisha Harrison, Fiona Duthie, Andrea Graham, Lisa Klakulak, and so many others). Creativity is a daily act.

“Creativity is a daily act.”

What types of projects do you love to create?

I like to work on projects that are utilitarian as well as projects that may ask a question, or cover a theme like “seeds”, for example. Each project “gives” something to the other.

In my felting, I am experimenting with smaller wet-felted jewelry projects like earrings and bracelets, as well as spirals in general.

In my knitting, I am playing with scarves, infinity scarves, fingerless gloves, headbands, etc.

Recently, we collaborated with Dorothea to create a knitted scarf pattern for our EcoLana yarn. Isn’t it just beautiful? We love how autumnal the Tortoise Shell colorway looks — and it’s unbelievably drapey and soft, too. I can only imagine how great this scarf would look in Sugarplum or Tidal Wave!

The Tortoise Lace Scarf pattern can be found on Ravelry.

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.