Thursday, May 12, 2011

Felt Week: Meet Lisa Jordan from Lil Fish Studios!


Felt Week

I mentioned in another post that I don't truly consider myself a needle felting artist. I mostly stick to tutorials and patterns created by others, and while I might deviate from those instructions from time to time, I'm not quite at the point where I sit down and spontaneously create something truly original, which is what I consider to be the difference between "crafting" and "art".

Lisa Jordan's needle felted pieces? They are art. Her unique vision, exquisite attention to detail, sense of whimsy and passion for the natural world shines through in every one of her pieces. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, prepare to be inspired!

yellow amanitas under glass

How were you introduced to needle felting/wet felting/working with wool? Do you remember any of your first projects?

My road through the valley of wool started with the idea of "doing something" with a wool sweater that had shrunk in the wash.  I decided to make a small pouch from it and though I wasn't much of a sewist at the time I really enjoyed working with the material and started seeking new ways to work with it.  I stumbled upon needle-felting shortly after and I've been a wool addict ever since.

rooted remains

Many of your designs are inspired by the natural world, can you tell us a
little more about that? What are your favorite natural inspirations?

All of them.  I live in the woods in central Minnesota and am surrounded, literally, with nature.  I'm especially inspired by moss and mushrooms and the tiny worlds hidden under the leaf litter. It's amazing what you see when you really stop to look.

koi pond scarf

What would you say to someone that wants to try felting but feels
intimidated? Where should they start?

Felting is a very forgiving medium and I don't think anyone should be intimidated.  Arm yourself with a needle, some wool, and a couple of band-aids and just play.  Try needling some roving into a piece of wool sweater and see how it feels, try making a wool bead... once you get the feel for what's happening you'll be amazed at what you can do with a needle and some fluff.

violets and birch

You work mostly with natural materials, what is the appeal for you?

Working with natural materials speak to my need to create something that's interesting in texture and form, unique, and sustainable. When working with a branch that I've hauled in from the woods, I know that even if I tried, no two pieces will be the same.   Working with felted garment wool is a textural treat.  The quality of the felt produced by fulling/felting a 100% wool coat  is amazing, and once it's felt no one would know it was the outdated 1980's teal green coat with the giant shoulder pads you used to wear.  Wool roving is so versatile that I never tire of working with it.

the lineup

What fiber artists inspire you?

I think Deb of Deebs has an amazing ability to paint with wool.  She makes my jaw drop constantly.  Kit of KitLane approaches her work with a sense of humor and a level of skill that kills me.  (seriously... is this awesome or what?) Note: Yes, it is awesome, y'all please check out both those links. Wow.

Lisa, thank you so much for allowing us a little glimpse into your creative life. I am inspired to sit down with my container of wool and my tools, take a few deep breaths and see what I can create out of my own passions and inspirations. What a wonderful gift you share with all of those that see your work!

You can find Lisa several places online:

Lil Fish Studios blog
Big Cartel shop

And, a wonderful idea that I am inspired by: a Flickr group all about stuff we make for OURSELVES.

Crafting For Ourselves


  1. Thanks so much for having me, I'm really flattered.

  2. wow...amazing talent...really wish there were more hours in the day for crafting! as it is...ill keep collecting wool sweaters from garage sales...or maybe check out my closet for an outdated teal wool coat!!!!


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