Artist Statement

Greek Maenad by Neysa Russo

My inspiration is derived from a passion for ancient textiles from around the world and through the ages. People, animals and foliage combine to breathe life into my folk art scenes. Using mostly local wools from local farms, and on occasion, even knowing the name of the sheep that produced the wool is a very special aspect of my work.

The technical portion of each handmade wool felt tapestry is created in a three stage process.

The first stage is to create a piece of felt from carded wool that will be used as a blank canvas. Felt is made the same way today as it has been since ancient times. Wool, water and pressure are combined, forcing strands of the fiber to entangle. As the agitation and pressure is applied and the strands wrap around one another, a durable fabric is created.  

The second stage is to decorate the surface of the felt with design. A felting needle has barbs located on the bottom inch. Carded wool is pushed through the surface of the felt with the needle. The needle has a sharp point allowing me to attain precision and detail when needling the colors.

Once decorated, the final step is to saturate the entire tapestry with hot water and begin applying pressure once again. This allows the needled fibers to entangle with the felt base, unifying the design work and creating a solid piece of dense fabric.

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Neysa Russo