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Felt textile artist, Xenia Li was born in the small town of Rochegda, in the north of Russia and now lives in Sheffield, UK. Living in different parts of the world has influenced the creativity in her work.
She has a degree in literature studies and is a graduate of Stroganov Moscow State University, Art and Industry with a degree of distinction in studio pottery. She is also a Member of International Feltmakers Association and a Member of TAFA list – The Textile and Fibre Art List. Xenia’s felted creations were featured in the popular online community Folt Bolt and also included in the Worldwide Colours of Felt book.
The founder of online shop yofancy.com, some of her designs are influenced by baroque and art nouveau, some are psychedelic and manga-ish, and focus on folklore and mythology. Xenia easily switches from striking minimalist concepts to an intricate couture style.
Each piece of YoFancy is handmade, where an old time-consuming technique is combined with modern finishing touches, making every piece original and unique. YoFancy uses only high quality luxury materials like silk, cashmere, finest merino wool, genuine semi-precious stones and Czech glass beads.
I truly believe that art can help us to understand each other better. I like to design things with love and care, and I hope I can express my emotions through my work.
Xenia's latest series “Underloved” is dedicated to farm animals; she wants to show that they’re just as cuddly as our beloved pets. They can be sweet, grumpy, funny, lofty, kind or even a little bit mad, but the same as ordinary pets and each of them will be one of a kind.
In her work, Xenia uses a multi-layered “watercolor” felting technique with extra needle felting work to create 3D effects and a tactile texture. None of the pictures have glass frames so that the owner can stroke their "framed pet" to feel how soft and cuddly they can be.
What do you enjoy most about your craft?: Numerous versatile possibilities of creating and experimenting.
What is your favourite fibre?: Black finnish
What is your favourite breed of sheep?: Jacob
What do you like most about the company?: Wide range of good quality dyed tops
Xenia's website is: www.yofancy.com
Wool gives superior performance to man-made fibres, and as wool is a naturally occurring fibre it brings so many other amazing benefits...
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.
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.