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Denise Oyelese :: Creating During Covid

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Meet Kelowna-based fibre artist Denise Oyelese, a card-carrying member of felt :: feutre canada since 2016. Denise has been felting for six years. Most of the items she creates are nuno-felted.

Denise’s fibre weakness is vintage sari silk and purchasing boxes of saris from India gives her immeasurable pleasure, thanks to the variety of textures and rich, gorgeous colours.

With her motto of “just give it a try!” and the tricks she learned from courses with national and international felting instructors, Denise  makes shawls, vessels, and larger wall hangings that challenge the limits of her medium.

Have you felt creative during the pandemic? If so, what are you working on? If not, how have you dealt with this?

Corona-who?? During these unprecedented times it initially wasn’t a problem isolating. Creatives are always working by themselves. Studio time was used and lots of felt was made.

I have a wonderful supportive felting group here and we share ideas, resources, and fuzzy felt company.

The fibre arts guild we belong to, Ponderosa Fibre Arts Guild —here in Kelowna— is also active, and we had anticipated putting on our annual Winter sale in November 2020, but even with all the extra distancing measures we had in place it just didn’t happen, as the COVID numbers started to climb. All items are priced and packed away until a time when we are all able to gather, and to show what we had been busy doing during these crazy times of 2020.

Several new ladies joined our guild, which was a pleasant surprise, and we met (physically distanced) until December. I have been teaching “A Felt Maker’s Series —an introduction to felt” to them, to keep engaged and busy. It always gives me pleasure to see the look of awe and wonder on peoples face when the wool “magically” comes together and something is formed. I guess this why I love the process so much. It is really awe and magic!

Do you have any secrets to share with felters just starting out?

The few pointers that I would give a new felter are:

  1. Don’t accept all wool gifts that someone is willing to give to you, especially if you are interested in garments.

  2. Do take classes on-line or in person.

  3. Join your local fibre guild, and of course felt :: feutre canada

  4. Gather a community to help support you in your creative journey —this means extending yourself to all forms of creatives

  5. And this last tip is to those who just don’t have the energy to create right now: get things ready and just make a small vessel. What better way to combat this virus than to put our hands in warm soapy water?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Denise.

To learn more about this talented artist visit:

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