We’ve got a new art installation at the Studio! Look at the photos above, read about it below, and if you’re in town, come by and see it in person. No picture can do justice to how gorgeous these needle felted pieces are.
Needle felting is the art of sculpting wool with special, barbed needles. Stabbing the wool over and over again meshes the wool fibers together, creating a firm, textile object. It’s a versatile, durable medium. Although felting wool is a tradition that goes back as far as recorded time, needle felting is relatively new. It began in factories in the 1950s. In the 1980’s, David and Elenor Stanwood invented a small, home needle punch technique (a smaller version of the industrial punch) to make wool batts for quilts. Ayala Talpai, a family friend was taught the technique and she further developed it into the single, needle felting craft technique done today.
Sara Desjardins is an award winning fiber artist. She was originally a graphic artist and illustrator with experience in drawing, painting, figure drawing and photography. After a run in with cancer, Sara used art as a way of coping with stress. Needle felting was something she bumped into online. Between facebook and youtube, she was able to transition her traditional art skills to something a little fuzzier. 2d Needle Felted paintings allow Sara to use the techniques of painting with the freedom to add 3d elements to her work.
Having grown up with a father who was deeply into birdwatching, birds seemed like the logical place to start exploring 2d painting with wool. About a year and a half ago, Sara started her series of bird needle felted ‘paintings’. Birds have a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. While most pieces hover around 9in. x 11in., Sara also worked on the larger pieces like the Peacocks.
The peacocks by themselves took about 7 months from start to finish. It is so far, the largest Sara has worked. Along with the bright colors, it also has several different types of fiber like silk and bamboo. Silk and bamboo are more reflective but are challenging to work with.
The smaller size takes about 40 hours from start to finish. It allows Sara to move quickly, well, quickly for needle felting, between subjects. While they aren’t the endurance test that the peacocks were, each piece comes with its own set of challenges. Scenery, for example, has always been more difficult for Sara than the subjects themselves.
The challenge and the part that brings the most enjoyment is finding the beauty in each bird type. Not all birds are flamboyantly beautiful, although some are. Birds don’t have to be beautiful to be interesting and appealing. It’s just a matter of discovering and highlighting what makes them unique.
Visit the Studio any time during our regular hours to see these works of art!