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Janice Stegall-Seibert

elt Song Fiber

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“Felt making is a magical process; colorful wool fibers swirling around with warm soapy water come together to form a piece of fabric. Felt is the oldest fabric known to man and making things with my hands is a way I sense a connection to my ancestors.”

“I was introduced to felt making about twenty years ago when a friend came to visit at Christmas. We made felt dolls for my daughter’s doll house and I have been exploring the wonders of felt making ever since. In the past few years some major health challenges gave me the opportunity to reexamine my life. As a result, I have concentrated my healing energies on felting and playing my mountain dulcimer.”

“My current work is influenced by the seasons and rhythms of nature. I often choose what to make based on the colors around me on any given day: colors outside my window, colors I am wearing, or the fibers that I have on hand. I create my work in my home “studio” which doubles as my kitchen and there are often piles of wool, pieces of yarn, and bits of fluff over every surface.  Fortunately, my husband doesn’t mind extra “fiber” in his diet.”

“I use two different felting techniques. One process is wet felting which involves adding warm soapy water and friction to layers of wool which forms felt fabric. I use this technique to make purses, bags and hats. The other technique I use is a relatively new art form called needle felting. It is essentially sculpting wool with a special barbed needle. With this technique I make Santas, angels, flower brooches, head bands as well as other whimsical creations. Some pieces are a combination of these two techniques.”

Janice has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Vanderbilt Peabody College and masters in Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She taught early childhood special education in Louisa County for years before leaving to home school her daughters.

“Although my first love is teaching, the need to create and express myself is a deep inner desire that finds expression in a variety of ways.  Painting, pottery, poetry, writing, paper making, batik, soap making, and gardening have all been avenues for my inner muse.  This summer I was an instructor for the Augusta Heritage Workshop in Elkins, West VA, teaching a weeklong course called “The Joy of Felting.”  Recently, my felt “Fish Bowl” was included in the “Something Fishy” exhibit at the Louisa County Arts Center.  I also have a felted wall piece, “Persimmon Tree”, on permanent display at the Louisa County Library. I hope that my creations bring people a sense of joy and make them smile. I will also do special orders and am willing to teach classes to interested folks.”

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