ShooHoos by bbflockling are dressed in fantasy outfits made by Phillipa Lawrence. Photos by Phillipa Lawrence

Pembrokeshire, a county situated on the western edge of Wales, is home to artist Phillipa Law­rence, who describes the area as quiet and rural. There is a beach located not far from Lawrence’s doorstep, and she said it is her favorite place because she can sit there and think. While taking in the view, she lets her mind wander, dreaming up new ideas to take home for further development. Even just glancing at her work, it is easy to see the in­fluence of the tranquil environment on her light-hearted creations.

A Starting Point

Lawrence began felting more than a decade ago, after she noticed some felted items for sale at her place of employment and inquired with the artist about how they were made. Follow­ing a brief explanation, she decided to give a felting kit a try, and she hasn’t stopped since. She said, “For needle felting, it involves loose wool fibers, which are precombed and colored. Then you basically stab into the wool with specially barbed needles, which push the fiber down with the downward stroke and are smooth to pull out. It compacts the fiber, making it more solid.” Fiber, which is available in any number of different colors, is gradually added throughout the process to give the object its desired shape and size. Additional embellishments, like sequins and beads, can also be worked in. While this all sounds simple enough on paper, felting can be a slow process that requires a great deal of patience and time depending on the size and complexity of the piece.

As is true of many forms of art, a clear vision of the final product is not required for felting. “I enter the work with an idea, but it always evolves and develops as I go along. And that’s exciting, as it’s a surprise when you finish!” Lawrence said. This type of mindset is beneficial in this line of work because there is always the possibility of something not going according to plan. It could involve wings not sitting quite right, a free-standing piece not balancing as it should, colors not blend­ing as intended, clothes not fitting the way they were supposed to, or something else entirely. In any case, Lawrence is always up for the challenge. She said, “Solving problems or achieving a specific goal and function is what keeps it interesting for me.”

The dragonfly has a needle-felted wire armature body and wire armature wings embellished with beads and glitter. Riding atop is a bbflockling ShooHoo wearing an outfit created by Phillipa Lawrence. Photo by Phillipa Lawrence
This frog prince was created using the needle-felting process and an armature. He is wearing clothes handmade with silk fabric. Photo by Rose Lacefield
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