Welcome, Tracey of TRACEY'S FUN FELTING out on Etsy! I've been seeing more unique "felting creations" since I joined Etsy, and am happy to have this "felting" artist out here on DZFANTASY. I am amazed what people are creating...and in such detail! I tried felting several years ago and sure didn't have results like many of the felting artists out on Etsy. Read below to get a little bit of an insight into Tracey and her whimsical creations.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
Actually, I was in a quilt store with my mother, dragging my heels and giving her a hundred reasons why I was "absolutely NOT going to get into another hobby or craft, especially not anything involving material, because I am needle challenged and besides I already don't have enough time to spend on crafty things..." Honestly, the words were pouring out of me that fast. When I stopped to take a breath, a very small very wooly sheep figure caught my eye. She wasn't especially attractive or well done, but the texture was marvelous. I couldn't put her down. Less than 30 seconds later I was starting my new obsession with things needle felted. I didn't even know what could be done with needle felt, but the idea of taking wool roving and creating sculptures with it was all it took... I was off and running. Well, poking anyway.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
In needle felt sculpture you need two things - a needle and fiber. I've experimented with silk and soy and other exotics, but I love working wool. There's so much variety and texture and so many beautiful colors - and best of all, it felts beautifully. Silk and tencel are soft, but tedious to work with.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
The sheer versatility. Wool goes where you poke it, so the possibilities are truly limitless. I can imagine the 3-dimensional rendering of a nursery rhyme and the piece of fluffy roving transforms in my hands. I also have to admit that I'm really into immediate gratification, and while needle felting is labor intensive, I can see the shapes and story emerging as I work and it keeps me engrossed in what I'm doing.
If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
A pineapple. It's poky and fibrous and has a lot of different textures. There's also a lot of work involved before you get to the finished product, but it's worth it in the end!
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your "creativity", what would that be, and why?
I recently discovered the world of miniatures. I was working some very, very, tiny needle felt pieces, just to see if I could. Not only was it challenging, it was really fun. I didn't think about applications, but then I was in a miniature dollhouse store with my mother, who was working on a conservatory. I saw a picture of a fairy door, which I couldn't leave alone... I had to worry at the idea and eventually I had a fairy box that fits into the wall with a beautiful wooden door, and a whole miniature scene right out of fairy-land inside it. Complete with some needle felted pieces, of course. Hmmm... as I think about it, I see a pattern here. I've really got to quit accompanying my mother to new places
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I read a series of books once, by Orson Scott Card, about Alvin the Maker. One of the ideas that really stuck with me was that bad things come from un-making. And the only way to combat un-making is to make something. Big or small, elaborate or simple, the act of making brings order and beauty to the world. Arts and crafts are makings.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Enjoy what you do. From the selection of materials all the way through to the final piece, imbue your making with joy. Don't worry about commercial aspects - if there is joy in your art, it will stand out.