Animal Farm

Messages from our four-legged friends
I grew up around a multitude of animals on a farm in Indiana; I miss them living in the city of Tel Aviv as I do today. I have managed to convey the love of animals to my children. My family have surrounded ourselves with two dogs, three cats and two turtles but it just doesn’t feel like enough to me so I’ve found myself creating a lot of them. As part of my daily routine, I spend a little time each day looking at pictures of animals and this lifts my spirits and makes me laugh which is a great way to start the day! I like to needle felt expressive and funny facial expressions, it’s a challenge and I try to felt animals that evoke uplifting and/or humorous feelings. I want the viewer to experience the personality of the animals thus helping them to better relate to the animals.
 
Animal lovers and collectors tend to covet my work but I’d also like my animals to communicate a message with those that might not take a second look at our four legged friends.  I’m of the belief that if some people could experience a friendly, silly Amstaf, Pitbull or Bully breed they may relate to it and possibly not be afraid of these dogs or my sculptures could help people to want to adopt a dog. As well if people could meet a sweet, quirky pig, cow, sheep or chicken, these animals might capture their hearts and they may not seem so much like a meal to them. I like to use my art to introduce ideas, to start conversations and to perhaps help change or introduce new ideas.
 
Needle felting is the process of stabbing raw wool with specially barbed needles that mesh the wool together; it is a time consuming process and great detail can be achieved. Needle felting has progressed a lot since its inception in the 1970s, it should not be confused with its centuries old sister-technique of wet felting. Needle felting artists started out making simple shapes and objects; they are now pushing the boundaries of the sculptural attributes of wool and this art-form. Needle felted, textile art is moving from a craft into a fine-art form. Advanced felted pieces are becoming more realistic, creations are growing in size and the technique is being used to create flat-felted paintings. Needle felting easily lends itself to fuzzy creatures and dolls, but with the addition of polymer clay, beeswax, resin, embroidery, beads, textiles, Angelina fiber, glass doll eyes and wire we are now creating amazingly realistic and textured objects. Needle felting is evolving from cute toys and animals to large, fine-arts pieces that you can now find in galleries and museums.
 
For more information visit http://www.lauraleeburch.com
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