Updated: Nov 5, 2021
We hope you will enjoy learning about different felt and fibre artists. The questions are very informal and designed to be fun and informative.
Elana Sigal is a Vancouver fibre artist and jewelry designer, who’s work is colourful and inspired. We are delighted she took the time to talk about her process and love of fibre with us.
How did you discover felting?
I had been designing enamel jewelry for many years and when my son was in preschool I met another mom whose daughter was in the same class. She was an artist and had been playing around with silk screening.
We decided to form an art group and teach each other what we knew. The day we were going to silk screen it turned out that she didn’t have the right supplies. She asked if I had ever tried felting. She had learnt basic felting techniques on Hornby Island and had some wool. She showed me how to layout and wet felt a piece. I was immediately intrigued with the process and so excited to work on a larger scale than I had been with jewellery design. We continued to meet and felt, dye wool, take workshops and visit galleries.
Since that day, we have had several exhibitions together and both continue to create and exhibit our own felt work.
Was it love at first sight?
It was love at first sight! I loved the tactile nature of working with the fibre. The transformation that occurs from the dry initial layout through the wet felting process is truly magical. I find the process very meditative and transformative. I love dyeing my own wool and being able to control color, texture and design. The fact that I can take loose raw fibre and turn it into a cohesive fabric using only my hands and water is liberating. After over twenty five years of felting, I am still excited every time I create a new piece.
Where do you find inspiration?
I have always been drawn to African Art, Post Impressionist art, Naive and Folk art , Matisse and Klee. I am inspired by nature. trees, leaves, flowers, fruit and birds. I am also inspired by shape, color and texture.
Have you ever had a dry spell or felt blocked?
Over the years I have had times when I worked on my felt design less or not at all. I did continue to design jewelry and work as an Interior Designer during those times.. I have experienced periods where I have not been energized or inspired to felt. I lost a son to Leukemia and for several years didn’t felt at all. When I went to back to felting it was very therapeutic and healing for me.
Music or no music?
I listen to Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Prince, Michael Jackson, Jazz and Blues as well as watch movies when I’m working.
To learn more about Elana Sigal, visit her website http://www.elanasigal.com/index.html