Focus on felting Fiberarts Guild Pittsburgh

Share what you love – Focus on Felting Fiberarts Guild Pittsburgh


On Monday evening, February 12th, at the Sixth Presbyterian Church, the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh’s feltmaking members shared their wool-based artworks. Several artists showed a selection of pieces, which ranged from wearables, such as hats and jewelry, to fine art pieces, such as wall art and sculpture.


How do you felt?

In her online class, Australian artist, Pam de Groot, stated that there are as many ways to make felt as there are feltmakers. Really, there is no one way. Usually, wool wants to felt!

Feltmaking artists who work with the technique of needlefelting usually stab dry wool with sharp, barbed needles. With needlefelting, you can create flat paintings or three dimensional, sculptural forms. For additional information on needlefelting visit HERE.

Whereas, artists who work with the medium of wet felting, get wool to combine and compact by dampening with soapy water and then agitating until it shrinks down. A few years ago, I wrote a mini-tutorial which you can find HERE.

Indeed, there are artists who combine needlefelting and wet felting. Perhaps, my fellow Guild members combine the two methods. However, I only use needlefelting on rare occasions to fix problems. Certainly, there are artists who use both as part of their regular process. For example, Rena of Lalabug Designs, Shana Kohnstamm, and Lois McDonald-Layden of TuckamoorWildcrafts combine needlefelting and wet felting within each piece. Often, Lois demonstrates her fascinating process on Instagram.


Included at the Focus on Felting were demonstrations of needlefelting and wet felting.


Needlefelted Works

For example, here’s Michelle Browne showing Katrina Shorter how she needlefelts. With her work, she combines her botanical-inspired lithographs, with fiber.

Michelle Browne demonstrating needlefelting on lithographed printed prefelt.


In addition to crocheting, member Cheryl Hopper needlefelts. Her pieces depict churches in Ireland. The details in the foreground are wonderful!


Cheryl Hopper with her needle felted paintings of Ireland.


Another member who works in needlefelting is Susan Swarthout. She creates functional and sculptural works. Can you see the tiny cat?

Susan Swarthout presenting her needlefelted work.


Wet Felted Works

Among the wet feltmakers, there was the work Rae Gold, who creates sculptural vessels. Last year, she exhibited her work at the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery’s Teapot Show, which you can read about HERE.

Rae Gold's wet felted vessels.


Another feltmaker who presented her work was Toni Ritchie Ridella, who in addition to working in wet felting, has a yarn shop and runs workshops, Raggz FIber Art. Here’s her octopus:


Toni RIchie Ridella's felted octopus.


In addition to weaving, artist Laverne Kemp creates wet felted pieces and teaches workshops with youth.

A collage of Laverne Kemp with her felted works.


Besides the above members, Barbara Grossman, Jamie Herron, Delli Speers and Teofila Hollander, Barbara Kubala, and Sandy Trimble participated.

Lastly, there was me. However, I forgot to take a photograph of my work at The Focus on Felting Fiberarts Guild!


Next month’s Guild meeting will be a presentation from MONMADE Fiber Entrepreneurs.