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Holland based Anne van de Weijer discovered needle felting 7 years ago when studying for a textiles course. Since then, she has gone on to set up her own business Vilt aan Zee where she sells her felted creations.
Find out more about Anne’s work on her website here.
What is your craft? (Spinning, felting etc.):FeltingHow long have you been a craft enthusiast?:About 7 yearsWhat do you enjoy most about your craft?:When I make my lampshades or big wall panels you need attention and focus, it’s a slow process which is nice and rather calming in a busy world. I also enjoy using wool like paint to create huge 'paintings' - this makes me happy.How long have you been a WOW customer?:At least 3 yearsWhat do you like most about the company?:There is so much choice and the wool is really beautiful. I love the fact that you can create your own blend - it’s a really nice service. What is your favourite fibre?:WoolWhat is your favourite breed of sheep?:Natural white Corriedale. Their wool is beautiful for the lampshades.Is there anything you would like to see on the WOW website?:More information about the environmental impact of the wool that you sell. I would like to know about the farms the sheep are from, the background. Are the sheep treated well, how the wool is cleaned, etc?Is there anything else that you would like WOW to sell?:Organic Corriedale wool. Organic coloured wool.Do you have a top tip for your fellow crafters?:Try the blends or put thin layers of different colours on top of each other. Make a little-felted fabric of for example 15 cm x 20 cm and put it on the wall with needles - It looks like a little abstract, like the work of Mark Rothko.
Tell us a bit more about yourself:
I studied architecture and worked as an architect for 10 years but missed being hands-on with art. So, I decided to study a textile course where I began felting. This inspired me to try and make felted lampshades. Which is when my business Vilt aan Zee began.
7 years on and I still love doing it! now make a range of pieces including lampshades and wall panels. I get my inspiration from my love of wool, ceramics, fabrics and plants.
The lampshades I make can be sometimes quite complex, I often look at it as an exercise in meditation and focus whereas making the wall panels is a lot more calming and similar to painting.
To make the panels, I mix different wool colours together using a wool carder. I think about the composition of the wool colours I put together and then get on with the hard work of felting the panels together - felting is definitely the hardest part.
Needle felting began as a hobby for Claire McDowell who started by creating little animals for her young children. This hobby has now grown into an obsession, and a business too.
Jane Abbot has been a craft enthusiast. She started needle felting 5 years ago after seeing it on the TV and enjoys felting lifelike animals. Recently, shes started producing bigger works and although they take longer the results are well worth it.
Leicestershire based Rosie Gittens is an avid needle felter and teaches workshops in the local area at her Grey Wren Studio. She takes her inspiration from birds, animals and human characteristics.