Amy Felske is a storyteller. Each of her whimsical creatures invites us to sit and chat whether it be a mesmerizing mermaid, a divine dragon, a fanciful forest or garden fairy, or a wise wizard.
Amy uses fiber, fabric, and embellishments of all kinds to bring her creations to life. This year at Fiber College, Amy is teaching a two-day class (Weds/Thurs) on Element Dolls and a Wizard class on Sunday. She’s also hosting a lunch discussion on Friday (“Soft Sculpture and the Creative Process”) and will be in the demo tent at 1 PM on Friday for a “Mixed Media and Fiber Jewelry” demonstration. There’s still time to sign up for one of Amy’s classes so you can take home your own bit of whimsy! Here’s Amy.
Tell us about your fiber journey.
My artistic journey is still evolving and began with my mother teaching me how to sew, and with scraps of fabric and buttons and beads I made clothing for my dolls. Searching through the button box was always a treat. In high school, my father built a tiny house in our garden for my sister and me. It became the Art House that held all our tools and treasures, from jewelry making tools, silver wire and semiprecious stones, shells and fossils, pressed flowers and pinned insects, pliers and saws, clay and glaze, to an old potter’s wheel and our ceramic kiln. In that garden I was always exploring many different media and creative techniques. This eclectic experience still influences my fiber journey. All of these paths converged on my doll making.
What’s integral to your work as an artist?
Often, the materials drive the work. A single scrap of fabric will suggest dragon’s wing and the whole piece will start from there. Other times an idea will drive the fibers and fabrics that will best create the image I picture in my mind. Being able to see possibilities and bring those ideas to life are integral to my work as an artist. My most important artist’s tool is my imagination.
What would your Fiber College students be surprised to know about you?
I love Zumba! It is an hour of happiness and laughter as many days of the week as possible.
What inspired you to become a fiber artist?
My daughters inspired me to become a fiber artist. Beginning with making dolls for them and evolving into more and more elaborate pieces. They were an inspirational springboard for beginning to work in fiber and doll making and today they are my best critics, motivators and cheerleaders.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given a student?
Relax and have fun.