New Heights: A Felted Giraffe Exploration

During this year out of college, I wanted to push myself to new, uncomfortable levels of felting. I wanted to refine, challenge, and discover further potential in the craft/ practice of needle felting.

It was the first Friday of June, I was selling some of my needle craft, and demonstrating the process at a Denver art walk. In the middle of the evening, a woman approached me, excited and enthused over my work. She asked if I could do create a giraffe for a friend of hers. I jumped on the offer, worked out a deal, and began creating. Little did I know this project was really going to challenge my faith in the felt.

Through the process, I began creating a 12 inch tall, 8 inch long giraffe complete with wire armature, and multiple layers of colored wool. About half way through, I became very discouraged for some reason. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off, how was going to please my client with a creature that was driving me batty!? What am I doing?

However, through encouragement from friends and family, and sheer will power, I pushed through the hours of spots, and self doubt. On the homestretch, I began realizing I was worrying for no apparent reason. “This may be infuriating, but this is my best piece to date! Logging 20 hours on this giraffe is amazingly horrible! I love it and hate it all the same!”

My faith was being restored in the craft. My confidence in my ability was growing. Once I signed my initials behind it’s ear, and fully absorbed my creation, my hunger to work bigger and greater seemed to be a necessity!

I want to continue to push my art to new levels. The giraffe showed me just how important it is to dream big, fight hard against my internal demons, thrive in the places of discomfort, and never be afraid of failure. The outcome will usually surprise and inspire.

Thanks for the stop everyone!

-S.P.J.