This week, Vintage Karma’s artist interview series continues with Joellyn Cobb of Hooked on Wool Primitives. The Champaign resident’s unique creations and needle-felted figures delight folks of all ages.
Q: How long have you been creating?
A: I have been working with fibers in one way or another for more than two-thirds of my life. Needle felting has become my passion for the past five years.
Q: How did you get into making your creations?
A: I was holding a rug-hooking session at my home with only two of us showing up. We decided to try something “ewenique” – needle felting. I’m not sure where the needles came from, but we had a ball making Easter eggs.
Q: What was your first piece? What inspired you to create it?
A: My very first piece was the Easter egg. From there I went to felting hot pads and pot holders. They are flat and easy to make. Then I decided to make my 3-D holiday specials: ghosts, witches, pumpkins, Santas, snowmen and angels.
Q: Describe your creative process.
A: A lot of times, I see the basic subject in the rolag of wool I pick up. Other times I know what I want to needle felt, but after felting for a period of time, I end up with something totally different!
Q: What drew you to your chosen medium?
A: I’ve raised sheep or been around sheep all my life. When not showing, I worked with the fibers. I have found it a challenge. “What else can I make with wool?”
Q: What is your favorite part of the creative process? What is your least favorite part?
A: Building a new visual/mental album at new locations. Saying to myself, “I can make that or that would look so cool with my Romney wool. Or, that’s the color I need!” It’s bad when I have a great idea in the middle of the night and don’t get to write it down before I get up in the morning!
Many VK customers are intrigued by Cobb’s eco-friendly, money-saving dryer balls.
Q: What keeps you inspired/what inspires you?
A: I love the holidays and all the collectibles involved with them. I have always liked to create one-of-a-kind figures for people of all ages. It’s the smiles that really keep me going. People like to give “ewenique” things to friends and family, and I love to make those things for them!
Q: What do you do when you’re not making art?
A: That’s a hard one – my brain is always seeing something new. However, I do like to garden, help my husband with his photography, be in Monticello with my daughters and their families, or I might be working a shift at Eddie Bauer.
Check back on June 13 to meet another one of Vintage Karma’s artists and visit our store to check out Joellyn Cobb’s Featured Artist display!