Sheila Farstad of North Portal says that her current passion of the past four years is needle felting. She has done two-dimensional dye works, watercolor painting and mixed media – drawing on paper with liquid rubber and creating something best described as batiks, but on paper rather than fabric, spraying the paper with water and then adding dry dye for an explosion of colour, removing the rubber to create a contrast.
She was thinking about how watercolor paper is made of cotton and sizing, so she wondered why she couldn’t use fabric dye and see what happened. Needle felting is a process where wool, whether dyed or natural, combed or raw, is poked with a blunt needle causing it to take form. She often uses wire to form a skeleton or framework and the felted wool becomes a giraffe or a cat or anything her mind can conceive. The life-like expressions she achieves with her needle are amazing.