Dani Ives, a real needle felting whiz who we presented just a few months ago, has had a go at working with our new product: Angelina. A fine and light fibre, which gives flare to your creations adding a shimmery and shiny effect.
Dani Ives has created a mini collection of colourful and cheery tableaus just for us, using our Maori as well as Angelina. As usual, Dani adds that impressive touch of real life-ness that just makes you want to reach out and pick that mushroom or brush against the flower.
To honour this great collaboration, I quizzed Dani about being an artist and what she does in her free time. But before finding out what she answered, take a look at what she said about how she found working on this project and some tips too. Happy Reading!
I've never worked with Angelina before, but I had fun experimenting with it. My idea was to use the Angelina as an enhancement to something that would naturally shine or sparkle in real life. I loved giving the butterfly wings some shine, as well as letting the light reflection of the hummingbird feathers sparkle. The toadstool cap has a little more dimension and magic with the Angelina on top.
My tip for using it: take a small amount and carefully break it into smaller pieces by pulling it apart. Mix the small pieces of Angelina in with small amounts of wool (I used maori carded wool), and carefully needle felt it into your project. Enjoy the extra sparkle!
Your needle-felt paintings are really fascinating. Why wool and not tempera?
Thank you! My journey into creating wool paintings was a natural progression from making three dimensional sculptures to practicing being more artistic with this technique. I was already comfortable using a felting needles, so it made sense to keep developing my skills in wool. Now that I’ve been needle felting in this style for a few years, I now have the urge to transfer my wool skills into paint and become more proficient in watercolor, acrylics and gouache.
Qualities needed to be good at needle-felting?
I think patience is very important. Needle felting is tedious and takes a long time, so being able to invest the time is necessary.
Your favorite subjects are animals and fruit. Why?
Before I was a full-time artist, I worked with animals in a zoo setting. My job was to teach others about the animals, so I would visit schools and community groups with animals like parrots, owls, hedgehogs, snakes, lizards and turtles. I studied animals and biology at university, and I always wanted to have a career working with them. My goal while working at the zoo was to help humans connect with animals—this goal carries over into my art, which is why most of my art portrays them. Along with animals, I’m fascinated by plants and fungus, so incorporating those into my work is very enjoyable to me.
Time of day you’re at your most creative?
I’m usually most creative and productive very late at night. But staying up too late is never good my productivity the following morning.
Vinyl records or digital music files?
What do you like doing in your free time?
I love to hike and explore trails and forests! We live very close to a state park and multiple trails systems here in Arkansas, and I consider myself to be very lucky for that.
How do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I hope to be teaching my techniques across the world by then. I also hope to have had some more experience showing my art in exhibitions.
An adjective that best describes you?
If you could have a year off work, what would you do?
I would travel and invest time into learning more art techniques! There are still many places around the world I’ve love to visit and explore:
Time machine. Where would you go and which era?
I think it would be fun to experience a few different American ages—the roaring 1920s fashion and architecture would be fun to see first-person. But experiencing the retro qualities, designs and technology “innovations” of the 1950s and 1960s in America would be very enticing, too.