The Needle Felting of Katie Paveso Frisbie
Q. How did you get started in your medium?
A. I got started in needle felting as a residual aspect of my former interest: Sculpting art dolls. I bought mohair and a felting needle to try to root hair for my dolls. That didn't pan out. I found a hummingbird needle felting tutorial online and decided to utilize my needle and wool. I found myself hooked!
Q. What is the biggest influence on your art?
A. I'd say I'm most inspired and influenced by nature-animals being a major incentive. There is so much beauty and wonder in the creatures of our planet, that inspire by simply being.
Q. Did art play a role in your childhood? (Were you exposed to artists, did you enjoy making art)
A. Oh, my yes! I grew up with very talented siblings. Being the youngest, I mimicked what I saw them do (portraiture, mainly) and received positive feedback on my drawings from my parents and my teachers. I was exposed to musical artists more than classical artists, and that was a motivator to draw say, the Beatles, because I loved them. I drew constantly in my childhood!
Q. Who is your favorite artist?
A. My favorite classic artist is Gustav Klimt. I love his gilded, yet somewhat distorted looking works. As for felters, the list is too long to mention, I think!
Q. How does art impact your life?
A. Wow. Art is the core of my life. I can't NOT create. It drives me buggy! It's my therapy and my joy. It feels like my purpose.
Q. Can/do you make a living from your creations? Or do you have to supplement your income?
A. Currently, I am not making a living from my felting. I'm lucky enough to be able to pursue it, and not have to have an outside job because my husband is encouraging, and makes enough for us to live on. I do plan to sell on a larger scale and have a platform from which to do this. Then, I feel I'd be living a dream for myself and my family. As it stands now, I sell pieces through word of mouth and social media. It's more piecemeal, but it's okay for now.
Q. Do you use photo references?
A. Oh yes! I have always used photo references. I don't consider it "cheating", as I've always known that many highly regarded famous artists do, too. They aid my attempts at realism.
Q. Is it hard to part with your creations?
A. It is agonizing to part with some of my work. Other times, I don't mind it as much. I think it's dependent on how invested I found myself in a particular piece that makes that distinction. I do, however, always feel as if I'm giving a piece of myself away. It helps when the recipient is enthused about the work.
Find more of Katie's work on Facebook and Instagram.
All of the above images are copyright Katie Paveso Frisbie and shared here with permission.
Try it Yourself
Needle felt a creature with TheCrafsMan.
You will need:
needle felting needles
needle felting mat, sponge, or block of foam
several colors of wool roving
tiny black beads