Meet The Artist

Today we have a Meet the Artist post, with Leonor from Felt Buddies answering our questions.

Fibre 3,2,1
Q-3 Three types of fibre you can’t live without?
My first obvious choice would have to be sheep’s wool! It’s a lovely fibre to work with and oh so versatile – from felting to knitting, it’s wonderful for just about anything in my world. Although merino is a staple, I find coarser fibres are great for needle felting and love using them.
The second fibre would have to be alpaca hair, because the brown is just perfect for some animals I make, like horses. It’s just the perfect shade, but I have a confession to make: I don’t love working with it, it’s so fine it makes it hard to needle felt!

FB 7Q-2 Two tools you use all the time?
Can’t needle felt without felting needles, and I use aluminium wire a lot in my projects as well.
Q-1 One fibre art technique you love the most?
Can I say spinning wool? I know it’s not what I do for a living, but it is fibre-related and all things fibre just fascinate me.

felt buddies (6)
General Questions
What is your business?
I own a handmade business (of mostly) needle felted sculptures called Felt Buddies and Co. I specialise in making people’s pets, particularly dogs.

felt buddies (5)bWhat kind of items do you sell?
My bestsellers are definitely my pet commissions, although I also make other things in felt: dryer balls, toadstools… I’d like to increase my ready mades in the future.

felt buddies (4)What do you think makes your business different from similar ones?
I can’t speak for other businesses, but I truly love what I do and care about the quality of items I produce, and that my customers are happy with my work. I try to create a more personalised relationship with them, because that’s what handmade small businesses should be about. I have also made friends along the way, so I’d say it’s a win-win situation.
I am also constantly trying to improve my technique and come up with fun things to make besides bespoke pets, which keeps my brain occupied for most of the day.

felt buddies (1)bWhere are you located?
I am in London, UK. I was born in Portugal and grew up in China.
Where can we find you on the internet?
You can find me here:
Shop – www.feltbuddies.net
Facebook – www.facebook.com/feltbuddies
Instagram – @feltbuddies
Blog – www.feltbuddies.co.uk

felt buddies (3)How did you get into fibre arts?
One day I was perusing a medieval fair in Portugal and happened to come across a stand that sold felting supplies. I was immediately drawn to the many colours displayed, and the items she had on display (3D fun looking animals). I just had to give it a go! It was an absolute disaster, as I didn’t quite get the hang of wet felting. I gave up.
It was when I switched to needle felting that things really started flourishing. I could picture the end result in my head, and my hands just had to follow my brain’s schematics – and the more I did it, the more I enjoyed the process.

Did you study art at college?
I did not. I have a college degree in Psychology because for some reason I got the notion it would be more “sensible” of me to pursue that than arts, but then I just went back to my lifelong passion, making things with my hands. Even my hobbies reflect that: knitting, spinning…

felt buddies (2)bWhat are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m between pet commissions and enjoying the hiatus by making notebooks with felted covers. I’m also in the process of working on a tutorial for needle felting, so here’s hoping that happens quite soon.

FB 9What do you like to do when you aren’t creating art?
I think my brain melted a little with that question. Can time be spent without having my hands in fibre?
Seriously, though: I love reading and can lose myself in a good book very easily. However, if you read my first reaction, this will come as no surprise – I have been trying to master the art of reading and knitting at the same time. I also love baking bread and am enjoying coming up with different types of dough each time.
My final goal is to be able to read, cook and knit at the same time. I’m joking! Or am I?

FB 8Many thanks to Leonor for taking the time to answer our questions. Don’t forget to check out Leonor’s work on her sites and etsy 🙂

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19 Responses to Meet The Artist

  1. Felicity says:

    Thank you Leonor! Very interesting!

  2. Leonor says:

    Reblogged this on Felt Buddies (and stuff) and commented:
    I got interviewed for a Meet the Artist section of the Felting and Fiber Studio. If you haven’t yet met these lovely group of people and are passionate about fibres, I highly suggest you pop by their Forum and introduce yourselves!

  3. Judy says:

    Your wool sculptures are truly beautiful…

  4. luvswool says:

    Very much enjoyed your post, Leonor. It’s always interesting to hear how artists get started in their chosen field. Thanks for sharing your lovely wool sculptures!

  5. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Nice interview Leonor! I’m wondering how you’re going to accomplish doing all those things at once. :-). Seriously, your art is wonderful. Your attention to detail is unrivaled which accounts for not only how you capture the pets looks, but their personalities as well. We certainly cherish our “girls” and would highly recommend you for commissions or your other felt buddy cuties.

    • Leonor says:

      Thanks, Marilyn 😊 I’m wondering too, but trying is the juice of life, haha! Aw, thanks for the lovely words about my work, it’s really nice to be acknowledged 🐶

  6. zararooke says:

    Well, a bread dough does need time to rise – so I guess you could read and knitt while you wait for that. 😉
    Your animals are increadibly detailed and I absolutely love the toadstool!

    • Leonor says:

      Thanks, Zara! I love that toadstool too 😊 Have you ever heard of extreme knitting? There are people who can knit and run the marathon, so dough rising wouldn’t be too hard a feat 😉

  7. ruthlane says:

    Great interview Leonor. It’s nice to get to know you a little better and learn about your path to where you are now. I love the toadstool as well! Thanks for the great post.

    • Leonor says:

      Thanks for reading, Ruth! It was fun writing it, and I’m glad you like the toadstool, I really enjoyed making it 😃

  8. koffipot says:

    It’s interesting to hear more about you Leonor. Your work is always beautiful. 🙂

    • Leonor says:

      Thank you, Judith! It’s always a little daunting getting yourself out there, so I’m glad I’ve gotten such a wonderful response from everyone 🙂

  9. Great belt buddies Leonor. I enjoy your posts on facebook all the time. It is nice to see we are pulling you to the wet side of felting too with the notebook covers.

    • Leonor says:

      Thanks, Ann! 🙂 I’m rather surprised myself I’m doing wet felting, because I never imagined I’d get the hang of it – I’m crossing over to what I called the Dark Side of felting 😀
      Thanks for following my adventures on Facebook, I do have fun with this whole journey but it’s so much better when surrounded by wonderful people 🙂

  10. lyn says:

    The dogs’ faces in the first photo would melt anyone’s heart! Lovely work.

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