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Supporting the careers of Canadian craftspeople since 1931.
Supporting careers of Canadian craftspeople since 1931.

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Artist Highlight: sFeltLana

Artist Highlight: sFeltLana

Craft Ontario is proud to highlight the craftsmanship and artistry of Svetlana Turov, who creates works under the name sFeltLana. 

Click here to see sFeltLana's work available on the Online Shop!

Svetlana is an emerging Canadian Artist based in Burlington, Ontario. Her primary medium is Fiber Fine Art. Inspired by her family's traditions which were passed down through generations of women she also decided to dedicate her life to work with felt. Continue reading for writing by Svetlana, reflecting on her practice, inspirations, and the history of felting.  

The love of felt runs deep in my veins, passed down through generations like a whispered secret. It's an ancient art, some say at least 10,000 years old! Imagine, transforming something as simple as sheep's wool into something warm, beautiful, and protective – a testament to human ingenuity before the age of machines.

My great-grandmother, a keeper of this ancient tradition, held the knowledge in her calloused hands. By the firelight, she'd guide my clumsy fingers, teaching me the secrets of coaxing life from raw wool. It wasn't just a craft, it was a bond, a connection that stretched back millennia.

Even here, far from where I learned this craft, these lessons resonate. Sure, the world is driven by technology, but the beauty of felt endures. I use it to create pieces that feel modern, almost ethereal, dyed in colors that whisper of faraway lands. They're not just practical anymore, they're meant to spark a sense of wonder, a connection to something timeless.

Each piece I create is housed in a beautiful wooden frame. It's a subtle nod to the hearth where my journey began, a way to honor the tradition that nurtured me. It's a reminder that even in a screen-obsessed world, this ancient art form can still thrive, a living testament to human creativity passed down through generations. It's more than just felt; it's a conversation across time, a way of keeping the past alive in the present.

My heart truly sings when I create pieces that capture the essence of the world's wonders, infused with vibrant colors that dance in unique harmony. One such piece depicts the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, its cascading layers echoing the symphonic textures of felt itself.

Here I used a special palette. I rely on the raw beauty of various fleeces - the snowy white of mohair, silk, hemp, merino wool and unique fleeces to capture the swirling foam for the power of the rushing water. Through this unique combination of textures and natural hues, I strive to evoke the untamed power and majesty of the falls, a testament to the raw power of nature. I believe the special fleeces I use in these pieces are truly a unique representation of the mighty waters of Niagara. Each fiber, intentionally chosen, becomes a whisper of the falls' unrelenting power and ever-changing moods. This approach allows me to capture the essence of Niagara Falls in a way that transcends a literal representation, creating a piece that resonates with the viewer on a deeper level.

The beauty of felt lies in its ability to capture a hidden world within. Unlike the simple layers of warmth crafted by my great-grandmother, I build my pieces with an artist's heart. Each layer – a whisper of silk, a caress of wool, a touch of some other natural treasure – becomes a brushstroke on a living canvas. This symphony of textures allows the viewers to explore the artwork with their fingertips, each layer revealing a new sensation. They blossom with dimensionality, inviting the viewer to explore their hidden depths. It's like peeling back the petals of a flower, each layer revealing a new dimension of beauty and emotion. This, I believe, is the true magic of modern fiber art – a tapestry woven not only with thread, but with light and shadow, inviting the viewer to discover the soul within.

This newfound ability to create depth is further enhanced by a modern technique called Nuno felting. Developed just recently, it allows me to fuse wool with the most exquisite of silks, creating ethereal blends that dance in the light. I also love experimenting with different fleeces, each with its own unique character. The soft embrace of merino contrasts beautifully with the wild raw silk and fleece, adding another layer of visual intrigue. Together, these techniques and materials become my tools for sculpting stories in felt, each piece a three-dimensional poem waiting to be unraveled.

One of the great joys of working with felt, especially through techniques such as nuno felting and wet felting, is its remarkable longevity. These methods create pieces that have the potential to last for centuries, like the magnificent tapestries of the Middle Ages. The careful selection of natural materials such as wool and silk plays a crucial role in this enduring quality. Wool, with its inherent strength and resilience, forms the foundation of my artwork, while silk adds a touch of luxury and sheen. These natural fibers, when combined through these time-honored techniques, create a remarkably durable piece.

Each piece becomes a testament to the enduring beauty of nature, not only in its subject matter, but also in the materials and techniques used to create it. In this way, my felt pieces transcend mere decoration; they become heirlooms waiting to be passed down, their colors and textures whispering stories of artistry and the natural world for years to come.

Make sure to visit the Online Shop or head over to the Craft Ontario Shop at 1106 Queen St W to check out sFeltLana's Featured work!

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