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Some more questions for a teacher...

Another one of the great teachers who will be giving an online class this Spring at Adorn Atelier;  Teresa Perleberg is a fascinating artist.  Talk about making from scratch!!  Teresa raises the sheep, she shears them, turns the wool into roving and then felts the most wonderful animals.  Enjoy reading about her!

Q: Your work is beautiful and executed with such precession. When did you start Needle Felting and was Needle Felting your first hand-crafting love?
I started needle felting in 2006. Years ago I enjoyed cross stitching then I moved on to knitting and spinning wool.

Q: What aspect of your work do you enjoy most?
I enjoy forming the faces and mouths on my sculptures, this is what brings them to life for me. Can I have two? I can’t leave out lambing season, that is the most exciting time of the year for me. I love the lambs and taking care of them and their mothers.

Q: What aspect of your work do you enjoy the least?
We shear our sheep and before we send the wool in to be processed into roving I have to lay out the fleece and pick out all the little pieces of straw, hay and other not so pleasant substances.

Q: Did you teach yourself how to needle felt or did you learn from a family member, or a teacher?
A friend had shown my daughter how to needle felt and gave her some felting needles to take home. When she went to bed that night I picked up the needles and stayed up until 3 am making a sheep. I learned over the years by trial and error.
Q: How long have you been Felting and designing?
4 years.

Q: Are you one to sketch, plan, design in advance or do you just grab your material and begin creating?
I generally look at pictures of animals or just take a walk through the sheep or the cows. Then I grab my wool and sculpt while looking at the pictures.

Q: Where do you create? Do you have your own workspace? Is it at home or in a studio?
I have a desk in my living room right next to some big windows on the South side of our home. This is my little studio. My Spinning wheel is also in the living room. I have a workshop in my basement for kit assembly and packaging.

Q: Are you a neat or messy creator and once you begin a piece, are you always one to complete it? (i.e. do you have a box full of unfinished designs?)
I am forced to be somewhat neat as wool tends to pick up lint and other wool colors like Velcro, so I have to keep the wool separate and packaged. I always complete a sculpture before I move on to the next. Occasionally I will make a quick snowman while making a difficult sculpture like the Moose.

Q: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
This is my favorite part of the whole business! I keep every wonderful note I receive. I have made a little photo book for myself where I put the pictures of my sculptures and the beautiful words of praise given to each one. This is a wonderful motivation tool for me when I am feeling uncreative! There are so many wonderful people in this world that will take the time to send me a note about how much they appreciate my art! Very heartwarming.

Q: Do you work alone and if so, do you find that to be lonely?
I’m never alone! I have 4 children that I homeschool.
Q: If you couldn’t needle felt, what would you choose to do? Do you see yourself seriously experimenting with other art or types of craft in the future?
Photography has always been my love! I would maybe pursue that a little more. I am always trying new forms of art. My daughter loves all types of arts and crafts and I totally indulge her!  

Q: When asked what you do professionally, what do you say?
I kind of stumble around trying to explain needle felting, which isn’t very easy! I often hear several comments about how I should be doing this or that local craft show, church bazaar etc. . I then dig out my business card and show them some pictures and say that I do pretty well selling online. They then say, ohhh so you’re an ARTIST then? And that is when I say, “I guess so!”

Q: What inspired you to teach?
I was asked to teach needle felting to some local 4-H kids. I really enjoyed it and that is when I decided to start designing needle-felting kits. I love to see all the different variations in the sculptures that everyone makes and sometimes I even learn from them.

Q: When you create a new piece, what sort of things inspire or guide your work?
Beautiful photography or the animal itself inspire my work.

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