Felted Art by Danielle Gori-Montanelli

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Danielle Gori-Montanelli offers us insight into her art of felting, taken from an excerpt taken from the latest issue of Fiber Arts magazine.   “I had always considered myself a painter, but once I moved to New York after college I found myself quite by accident making a living as a jeweler. I took my first jewelry-making course sim­ply because I wanted jewelry. I loved that I could wear my work, and I continued to work in silver for fifteen years. As time passed, though, I felt my craving for color and texture growing.I have loved felt since I was a girl, and during my metal-jewelry years, as a treat to myself at the end of a craft show I would buy a fun and colorful hat from one of the felt artists in the show. (Jean Hicks from Seattle is my favorite.) Even­tually, as my hat collection grew, I realized that felt was everything I had been designing in my work; unlike metal, it is color­ful, warm, easily manipulated, light. And it allows me to work in a much larger scale than was feasible in metal. During this time I also had my first child and wanted to get away from the gas, chemi­cals, goggles, and sandblasters of metal-smithing. Soon I found myself working exclusively with felt—and now my tools are a pair of scissors, a needle, thread, and, most important, a thimble.My process is as simple as my tools. Iuse wool felt that I gather from Europe and America, choosing colors that intrigue me and relate and respond to each other. I cut the felt by hand using my old metal shears and sew with leather needles, which are extremely sharp and enable me to better puncture the felt (and, at times, my fingers). I use strong threads and em­broidery flosses to join the pieces together. My pieces are many layered and require great hand strength to cut and sew through very dense pieces, sometimes up to two inches thick.”  Danielle creates lovely collars, brooches, necklaces and several other felted art objects which can be views on her web site. 


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