I absolutely don’t know how many years it’s been since first discovering felting. It was before the pandemic and in peaceful times when Sarafina Fiber Art, Inc. was still open for classes on Appleton Rd. in Elkton, MD, and after an open house that my husband and I attended that November with a friend. I was interested in both the classes Sarafina Fiber Art offered for 2D felting and oil painting. I learned things in an oil painting class that could be applied to felting and vice versa. I loved those days and the classes with this brilliant artist, Sara, from wet felting and rolling 400 times (really 400!!), creating scarves, bugs, to completing a kind of felted “moose-terpiece”! Of course, I couldn’t resist signing up for some of the 3D creatures as well.
One thing is true, I can’t leave my felted flowers, rabbits, or even 2D pieces ready to frame out with three Maine Coons. After Tom’s “Willoughby Sunrise”, his first 2D piece, (yes, I made him attend with me, and he enjoyed it) was viciously attacked by our Maine Coons, Cedric and Catana, and then carefully and painstakingly redone, I knew that pieces needed to remain in the studio off the back porch only or hung high!
Soon after I began taking most all the classes Sara offered, I retired from my work a bit early, and continued my pursuit of painting which included fiber painting with great devotion creating everything from a 2D original mermaid for my goddaughter to a warlock calling my name to go with my witch from an online class with Sara. To this day, the 3D mermaid and felted flowers (online classes with Sara at that point) have been my favorite creative moments along with a 4’ octopus that I personally created because after seeing one, I just had to figure it out! The eyes had it all, and the legs that I wrapped in spun fiber reminded me of slippers that my Polish grandmother made for me year after year. Luckily, to keep the octopus from our Maine Coons, it sold and is somewhere on the East coast adorning someone’s room!
Three years to the day, I did my first solo art show at The Gibby. I included fiber art among the many types of art I displayed: metalsmithing, mixed media, acrylic and oil paintings, polymer clay sculptures, and 2D felting, plus a 3D rabbit completed in one of Sara’s in-person classes and felted Easter eggs following a Sara tutorial, given the time of year and of course, the octopus in a sea-themed window. Given all the various mediums, I believe that the most peaceful kind of creativity is definitely felting in 2D or 3D!
Looking back, having taken several classes from an artist friend, DCAD, and Sara over the last few years, I realize that it was Sara who was the beginning of bringing back a love to create that I had never forgotten and always wanted to pursue. Thank you, Sara Renzulli!