being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.
so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet mattie, who continues our international theme ...
Please introduce yourself …
I'm Mattie van den Heuvel, 36 years old and mother of two kids (4 and 6 years old) I'm Dutch, but we live with our little family in the south of Germany.
How would you describe your work / style?
My passion is needle felting, but I do the occasional wet felting as well. I love making faces, especially fairy inspired faces.
Who, or what, inspires you?
The person who inspired me most and keeps on inspiring me is Birgitte Krag Hansen. I learned nearly all that I know about needle felting from her books and course.
Do you sell your work? If so, what helped you decide to start selling your work?
I have been selling things since the beginning of this year and I would like to sell more, but I'm still working on building my business. I had a part time job, but there was no more work, so I decided to open my own studio. The rooms for that are in our house and the lady renting them moved out 2 months ago, so it can all go ahead now!
Where can I buy your work?
I sell my things at markets and on the internet at Dawanda.
Do you have a website or blog address?
My Blog address is: www.filz10a.blogspot.com and I try to write in English as well.
How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?
I have been felting for 7 years now. I started off with one needle and some wool scraps and it was instant love. Fortunately the first book I bought was that of Brigitte Krag Hansen. I did some wet felting every now and again, because I am a very practical person and you can make more practical stuff like bags and toys, but I kept returning to my needle felting.
Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
I would like to learn to spin on a spinning wheel and to knit.
Anything exciting planned for 2011 you’d like to share?
Well... building up my business, giving courses, finish decorating my studio, spend lots of time felting felting felting...
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be …
...looking for a part time job now and not so happy!
I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for …
My husband, who supports me all the way!
Describe your proudest moment.
Of course the birth of my two children ahum ;) and when on my first market people got other people to see my work.
What animal would you be, and why?
I often ask my cats if they would swap with me, when they are lazying around in the sun, unaware of the world's troubles...
How do you keep motivated?
I have a lovely workspace. When I feel unmotivated I start tidying it up, or cleaning it and inspiration pours in. But mostly I have more ideas buzzing around my head than my hands can actually produce.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started out?
As said, I was fortunate to buy the right book at the right moment.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Buy one of the books of Brigitte Krag Hansen and if you are interested and get the chance, follow a course. And do not buy the best, softest quality for needle felting!
What question did you hope to be asked but didn’t?
Why needle felting and not wet felting?
What would your answer have been?
The thing with wet felting is... you have to plan ahead and work pretty precisely. And I am not a planner and too chaotic for that. Needle felting is so forgiving! You needle felt a nose, you don't like it, you tear it off and make a new one. Your cheek turned out too big? Needle more and it will get smaller! Too small? Put a bit of extra wool on it. That is what I like so much about needle felting. It stays flexible till nearly the end.
thanks for taking the time to chat mattie. i have to admit that i've never been able to get to grips with needlefelting before but now you've managed to get me interested! i must look out for birgitte's book :)