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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.
Find out more about Claire's work on her Etsy or Facebook page.
What is your craft? (Spinning, felting etc.):Needle feltingHow long have you been a craft enthusiast?:20 yearsWhat do you enjoy most about your craft?:Creating animals that are lifelike, but have a touch of whimsy and quirkiness too. I love the fact that I can recreate a favourite pet or wild animal that can be displayed.How long have you been a WOW customer?:1 year.What do you like most about the company?:The fantastic range of materials, colours tools and tips.What is your favourite fibre?:Merino.What is your favourite breed of sheep?:Lancashire blue face.
What World of Wool products do you use to make your creations?:I love using the Shetland wools as they give such a beautiful realistic texture to woodland animals and birds. The natural colours are fantastic too.
I recently have been using some of the Glitzy range, especially’ Raven’ which is perfect for magpies! Corriedale is a go to as well - the range of colours is just brilliant.Is there anything you would like to see on the WOW web site?:Accessories like glass eyes beans and feet (faux of course).Is there anything else that you would like WOW to sell?:Super fast wool.Do you have a top tip for your fellow crafters?:Keep at it. Stand back and look at your work. Look at photos rather than other people's work and develop your own style.
Tell us a bit more about yourself:
I have been needle felting for just over a year now. What started as a hobby making little animals for my 2 young sons has grown into an obsession, and a little business too. I get such a buzz when a piece sells! I began my career as a window dresser many years ago and worked for a few of the big department stores in Belfast. I currently work now as a psychology lecturer at the university where I studied and although I love my job - my dream would be to go back to being a full-time artist, working in my studio all the time where I’m surrounded by my cats and dogs.We live right next door to a forest and that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration from. We have a visiting badger to our garden every night, and he is my latest piece.
I will never forget my first time one of my birds sold and I still get such a buzz every time a piece sells.
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