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Program on wet and needle felting

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Susan Neri-Waldron will present a demonstration on wet and needle felting at the next meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League to be held at 7 p.m. today at the Unitarian Universalist Church, North Fourth and Locust streets in DeKalb. Waldron and her husband own an alpaca farm near Elgin.

Waldron offers classes and workshops in wet and dry and needle felting, and she sells kits for beginners. She is both an experienced oil painter and a creator of felted art. She and her husband own 43 Suri alpacas, so she produces her own alpaca fiber.

The alpaca fiber is hand-dyed, and it feels like a combination of cashmere and silk. Waldron said she feels a spiritual connection between the gentle animals they have raised and the composition of her felt tapestries.

The felt process is a wetting down of the fibers with soapy water and slightly agitated; the microscopic barbs, similar to Velcro, which are on all fibers, hook together, and allow the creation of scenes that are both visual and tactile experiences. The finished product is both more sturdy and more durable than it appears.

“My oil painting has grown tremendously with my experience with felt, and my felting has grown from my oil painting,” Waldron said in a news release. “I am living a life I had only dreamed of ... being able to work on my art all the time, that has been the dream since I was small.”

For more about Waldron and her work, visit www.susanwaldronart.com.

Refreshments will be served after the program. All are invited to attend; there is no admission or membership obligation to attend KVAL meetings.

KVAL is a nonprofit organization that meets at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month except January. Most meetings have a program or demonstration on some form of art by a practicing artist.

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