Leslie Owens-Owner Nice Threads-Artist-Instructor
I grew up in a fiber-centric family - my grandmother was a seamstress for Hart Shaffner Marx and my mother knitted and sewed for her children. My first fiber craft was making octopuses from dime-store yarns, but I graduated into embroidery, crochet, macrame, and sewing while in college. After 25 years as a corporate graphics designer, I came back to fiber when I went to Haywood Community College in 2000 to learn weaving and dyeing. That began my journey into the myriad techniques that comprise the fiber arts.
I found right away that I loved wool and loved to handle it, learning spinning just for the joy of feeling it glide through my fingers. I was an extremely slow weaver, since I just had to stop every few minutes to feel the new cloth I was making. When I discovered felting, a technique that consists of just hands and fiber, with no equipment intervening, I knew I had found my true calling as a feltmaker.
The real discovery was that making felted garments was more like sculpture that any other technique. Starting with the loose wool fibers, I can form the fabric and the garment at the same time, and my weaving liability - handling the cloth to excess - is precisely the technique that creates the garment. Each garment is shaped by my hands, coaxed into three dimensions and finished with a few carefully chosen closures.
Miraculous, a warm, light garment, formed only by my hands.