Bob Nichols…sculpter of wool

I’m always fascinated about how creative people move around the planet and find their niche in a passion that hasn’t even entered most people’s minds.  Take Bob Nichols for instance…here’s a man who grew up on a dairy farm in Alaska and found his way to Maine…and now he’s well-known in our region for the art he creates by stabbing colored wool fluff until it becomes a painting or a sculpture.  Once again…life simply happens!

Bob sent us these answers to our interview questions:

When I was 16, I imagined that my most exciting and satisfying means of creative expression would be a form of fiber arts. In particular, I never could have imagined that it would be needle felting, which was first discovered 20 years I was 16, and which I first discovered for myself in 2001

My favorite time of day is whatever time I am fully engaged in being happily creative, in the broadest sense (making art, cooking, teaching, singing, gardening, house projects, etc)

I imagine that my proudest career moment is yet to happen, and will not occur in the narrow realm of a “job.”

I still get nervous when I reach that typical point in creating a piece of art where it seems to be hopelessly doomed, but then the nervousness and frustration usually drive me through it to a satisfactory conclusion (though never “perfect”).

The art tool I couldn’t live without is definitely the felting needle.

Some words I live by are “simplicity, creativity, kindness, love, and curiosity.” Two phrases I live by are “Actions speak louder than words,” and “Practice makes better.”

One lesson I keep learning is that real pleasure is best shared, rather than hoarded.

You can never have too many fascinated admirers of your work.

Whole living means achieving security beyond the basic struggle for survival, appreciating the gifts and lessons of existence, and giving back something meaningful to life (human, animal, and/or plant). 

Needle felting has always seemed magical to me. With such simple materials as a hand-held needle, wool fiber, and a foam work surface, you can create either 3-dimensional or 2-dimensional artwork, manipulating the fiber like clay or paint, respectively. I think the warm, fuzzy tactile appeal of the material also opens up my imagination to the warmth and appeal in my subjects.

Bob will be teaching intermediate Needle felting on Sunday afternoon from 1:30-3:30

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