After learning a needle-felting technique at a July 2020 EAC Zoom workshop, Lauren Koss, a longtime student of wet felting, began engaging with the dry-felting in earnest in winter 2020, and also taught her 7-year-old son (also a frequenter of EAC workshops) the technique. As taught by Audra Christie, a Cherryfield-based fiber artist, the method uses cookie cutters for safety and structure. (See a sneak peek of Audra in action here).
Mother and son had a flurry of felting gifts in December, including necklaces (an ‘Emoji-burger’ necklace for his brother), ornaments, and dolls. Most recently, they taught the technique to Jenny Robish, another EAC workshop fan, who has in turn taken off in felting frenzy, images below!
This week, we present some images of the felters’ creations in hopes of inspiring other artists and crafters to contribute to Eastport Gallery’s Hearts for the Arts show, a special February invitational show being offered in place of Paint Eastport Day, cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Learn more about the submitting work for the show (and cool associated events, like a planned Valentine’s Day Zoom party!) here.
In compiling these images, it came to light that another EAC staff member—Chris Grannis—is also a felting enthusiast. Read on for more!

Jenny Robish, who began with the gray, teal & purple heart atop this post, swiftly advanced to freehand felting: her first project was the owl at right; the mouse with balloons swiftly followed; new critters are appearing daily, such as the bird pictured below!

As evidenced by the blockbuster collection pictured below, needle-felting has clearly been an ‘EAC Family’ affair for some time. Chris Grannis made each of these animals, starting with the bunnies (which pop up out of their felted ‘grass’-lined cones!) in 2018, after bringing her children for a workshop with Paula Farrar at Done Roving Farms in Charlotte nearly a decade earlier. “When the kids were taking their class I bought materials to make a rug,” remembers Chris. “That is what I turned into animals, never making the rug!”

Grannis too is a longtime participant in EAC workshops (as well as working as Director of the center, and instructing some sessions). She and Koss (EAC’s Publicity Director) worked side by side at Audra Christie’s wet-felting workshop double-header in 2019. A wooly crowd, all ’round!

Read more about Christie’s past EAC workshop offerings here, or check out EAC’s Education programs here. For more felting, check out Gold ‘n’ Green Ball, a video from Stage East’s Life in Washington County, a contact-free video collaboration. Gold ‘n’ Green Ball, which includes text by Melodie Greene, performance by Jenie M. Smith, and music by Joan Lowden, also includes footage of Lauren Koss at work on a wet-felted geode!

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