MAKER SPOTLIGHT: Chicktin Creations
Cindy Lou runs Chicktin Creations and is the creator of our wonderful needle felting kits. We always love a good chat with her, so we thought you'd enjoy hearing about how she got to where she is, in her own words.
When did you start your craft?
I started needle felting about 9 years ago, to help recovery from repeated bouts of sepsis when I was unable to be very active. My imagination and love of creating things took over. I’m glad it did! I often wonder if I’d never had repeated sepsis, would I have discovered needle felting? Some dark clouds do have silver linings.
What do you like best about it?
It’s completely free-form and you can create your own style. It’s quite magical that you can take an amount of fuzzy wool and with a few stabs of a felting needle can create a mini dog that looks real!
Do you have a favourite thing to make?
It has to be breeds of dog, given my knowledge and background of dogs, but I am particularly known for my German Shepherds, though I do enjoy creating horses as well.
(We'd just like to point out that we think 'background of dogs' is an understatement...)
Why is crafting important to you?
Firstly, it’s my income and secondly, it’s very therapeutic and good for mental health. I would also like be known in the future as one of the needle felting artists who played a role in helping needle felting become accepted as an art form rather than just a craft.
What are your preferred products to use?
I’m not a purist when it comes to needle felting. Apart from the base shaping from core wool, especially the Slivers, (I LOVE Slivers due to their ease of use) I am a huge fan of Merino tops because they can be blended to create a huge range of colours and shades, and they are easily encouraged to take on different textures and shapes with the use of sprayed on watered down glue. I also love to use different products that can enhance the realism of the finished sculpture. I am always trying out different mediums to improve on this. I think my most used extra is Mod Podge glue, though I use a variety of other things too.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to take up your craft?Yes, I repeatedly hear the same thing, that newbies are “afraid to make mistakes!’ Never be afraid to make mistakes. A mistake will always teach you something, even if only not to do it again! Another common worry, is that new felters are in a hurry to be as good as those who have been felting for many years and so give up to easily. Experience comes with time, patience and mistakes.
What's your favourite thing about World of Wool?
(As usual, we're not going to apologise for this leading question! :P)
That it’s UK based and sells a huge range of wools, colours and accessories. I feel very privileged and honoured to write needle felting kits with such a well-respected company. It gives me immense pleasure and pride, especially when I see all the wonderful results other felters have made using them along their needle felting journey. The WOW team are also very knowledgeable and helpful of all things woolly.
Do you have any closing comments or words for our readers?
My third book “A Masterclass in Needle Felting Endangered Species” is now available! It includes a Snow Leopard, Painted Dog, Przewalski's Horse and a Secretary Bird. There will also be some more WOW kits to look out for.