Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Felted Fantasies

All artwork by Yiling Tien, all photos and poetry by Rita Bourland

 Trojan Horse
 Felted Fantasies
I arrived for yoga class one day and was greeted by a spectacular array of felted fantasies.  They were gorgeously wrought from the finest of wool and I immediately wanted to learn more.

I had the good fortune to meet YilingTien, the felt artist, and she gave me permission to photograph her creations.  Her knowledge of wool and her ability to turn the wool into magical, whimsical beasts inspired me.

Her items are all painstakingly formed (never sewn or knitted) by shaping the wool with barbed needles (needle felting) or rubbing it while it’s immersed in hot, soapy water (wet felting).  Many of the individual parts like ears, tails, spines, etc. have been wet-felted separately and then needle felted together. 

The wool comes from a variety of sources:  Merino Sheep, Angora Goats, Angora Bunnies, alpacas - even yaks and camels.  She sometimes blends the coarser wools with silk to get the right texture.  She predominantly uses a Merino-cross wool because of its near perfect texture for felting. Felting probably originated among Mongolian sheep herding people, perhaps more than a thousand years ago.

Enjoy her creations and my accompanying poem.

 Pink-Face Lummox 

Sharah the Cat

 Baaalda the Turtle

 Pink and the Black Chinese Cats


Isinglass the Dragon



A Ring for Each Finger 

  Felted Fantasies

Felted fantasies,
fibrous wonders,
fashioned of wool
with artistic flair, 

fetchingly familiar
yet out of this world,
a fanciful feast
for the eyes,

brought to life
to fascinate the senses,
like fairy tales 
in fleece,

the fibers connect us back
 to days of yore,
to shepherds keeping watch
over flocks by night,

the fibers of the wool,
the fibers of the soul,
formed so long ago.

Contact information for the artist:
Yiling Tien


  1. These are truly amazing. Thank you for introducing her work and then commemorating it with a comforting fabric of words. Judy

  2. Thank you. I'm always inspired by people who have such a passion for their art. She is truly incredible.

  3. These are wonderful! I must tell Shannon to check in on your blog. I suspect with her travels etc. she's not done so for a while. Libby

  4. I know that Shannon has made some beautiful felted figures so she will no doubt appreciate the figures shown here.