Featured Artist Shana Kohnstamm

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You are about to enter the imaginative world of fiber artist Shana Kohnstamm. Enjoy her creativity, and find out more by visiting her website.

 

felt sculpture

 

Although I had studied art most of my life, it wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that it dawned on me: Art had been the one and only constant, and for the first time I could see it would carry me through the rest of my life.

 

handmade fiber monster

 

I worked many years primarily as a figurative painter. In 2006, I started to develop my own visual language, one inspired by the natural world – from plant seeds and sea life, to microscopic organisms and cosmic events.

 

felt monster

 

A little over two years ago, I took a felting workshop and that changed everything. I was able to take my catalogue of painted shapes and transform them into soft sculptures. The switch over to the felting process (needle-felting and wet felting) was a natural extension for my imagery. It was not only invigorating, but it also reminded me that making artwork could be fun!

 

Felt Lamp

 

Felting takes my process of painting into a purer form. I start all my paintings loose and energetic and as I build up layers, the image starts to form, tighten up, and take shape. Working with wool, I approach each piece the same way. Loose fibers slowly become a tight, hard bundle, taking shape with every stab of the needle.

 

Heliotropia

 

I love knowing that I’m using an ancient technique to create modern works. Illuminated wool glows beautifully and I have been incorporating more lamps and small electronics into this body of work.

 

hanging octopus lamp

 

My supplies are for the most part natural: wool, silk, bamboo. I can even be hands-on in preparing those materials, through fiber processing and dyeing. Something I never even considered as a painter.

 

fiber sculpture

 

Felting has opened up a new range of materials and techniques. I consider myself very lucky to have rediscovered the joy of learning a new medium this far into my career. It has introduced me to a whole new community of like-minded artisans and I am inspired by both their work and their openness to share their knowledge.

 

Fiber Wall Art

 

I am a member of the Textile and Fiber Art List and the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists. Selected sculptures are available at The Odd Luminary.

 

 

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Comments

  1. How fun to see Shana featured here! I learned more about her and her process and it’s interesting to see how she connects the painting to felting. Her work is so full of life and movement and I love her themes and use of lighting! There is so much wonderful experimentation going on now- it makes me want to try it, too, but I have vowed not to learn anything new until I get through my bins and bins of fabric!

    • Thanks Rachel! I’m sure whenever you try felting, you’ll absolutely love it. And of course, if I can help in any way I’ll certainly try.

  2. love your art!

  3. These are wonderful! I’m a scuba diver so appreciate her undersea creatures. Love the nudibranch especially :)

    • Thanks Deborah, my one claustrophobic attempt at snorkeling left me in awe of all those who can go under. If you haven’t already, check out the Sculpture page of my website for more nudibranch pics.

      Your silk paintings are stunning, by the way! I’m a fool for those luscious colors.

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