On Needle-felting: Lisa Jordan of lil fish studios

Redefine

Who: Artist Lisa Jordan of lil fish studios
Redefine: "Needle-felting"

The art of forcing individual wool fibers to interlock by using a barbed needle. Using this approach, the soft fibers can be coaxed into firmly formed sculptural shapes or painterly scenes.

Lisa works with wool before it has been processed. She is a maker whose process turns a raw material into a finished piece of art. She is able to sculpt and paint not with a brush, but with a barbed needle. With a lot of patience, an incredibly appreciative, creative mind, and a box of band-aids, Lisa makes beautiful art. Read more about her process below...

Lisa says:

"Most people are familiar with wool as a knitted sweater, a skein of yarn, or a sheet of felt, but fewer are familiar with the material before it's processed into those forms. Unspun wool can be soft or slightly scratchy, curly or straight, with a long or short staple. With just a few jabs of the felting needle, the wool will begin to hold together. Enough jabs and the soft fiber is coaxed into a shape that is capable of standing on its own, without the use of adhesives or support.

Intricate details can be added to scenes by laying out thin layers of wool in varying colors, sometimes in single strands of fiber. I feel as though I'm painting with wool, affixing the colors with a single steel needle.

Needle-felting can be really rewarding for someone new to the art as results can be quickly attainable. Like many art forms though, patience pays off. It's only after a lot of working with the needle, thousands maybe tens of thousands of needle jabs, that the wool will begin to take on a firmness and texture that is almost wood-like. It's surprising to finish a sculptural piece and compare it to the lofty fiber it once was. It seems impossible that the two are the same. I'm always left with a sense of wonder and amusement at what I've just created out of animal hair, (and generally with a band-aid on at least one of my fingers)."

Visit the lil fish studios to read about Lisa's work and her hikes in the woods where she is able to gather inspiration and the raw materials that make up her naturally inspired art.

Shown above the jump, from left to right:

1 Tiny Mushroom Ornaments from lil fish studios, In the works and will be available to purchase very soon.
2 Yellow Amanitas Mushroom Sculpture from from lil fish studios, $175.00
3 Needle-felted brooches from lil fish studios, In the works and will be available to purchase very soon.
4 Needle-felted brooches from lil fish studios.

About Redefine: Our new column Redefine asks artists to define one term involved in their process. Through this definition, we as buyers will learn a little bit more about the art from conception to realization. We'd like to not only increase awareness of what we are actually purchasing, but also increase appreciation for the process itself, thereby celebrating the handmade lifestyle.

(Images, Lisa Jordan - used with permission)