Agne Audejiene - Agnes Felt
My name is Agne. I am a mom and a feltmaker. I am also a daughter and a sister. I am a friend and a teacher of crafts as well as a neighbor and a dreamer.
I live in Lithuania – my homeland in which I’ve been raised and brought up. I got interested in handicrafts when I was a little girl because my mom and grandma had always been either knitting or sewing. I used to touch all sorts of embroideries and other fabrics made by my grandma: different curtains, pillow cases, napkins, etc. Even before going to school I could crotchet and knit easily. My mom’s aunt lived in our village and had a few sheep.
She sheared them and later spun the wool.
To use her spinning-wheel (under her guidance of course) was some amazing experience to me. So this experience from my childhood gave the beginning and ground for my today’s occupation.
I studied the Lithuanian philology in university. After my studies I worked in a state-owned company for a couple of years, got married later and had two daughters. Motherhood brought some new dimension into my life. I had a unique possibility to listen to the real desires of my heart. It is during that time that felting came into my life. First I found some felting works on-line. I got interested in the possibilities of the technique and started searching for more info on feltmaking. At that time this craft of felting had just begun in my country. Me and my colleagues learnt it independently by analyzing the works on-line, trying, making mistakes, sharing our experiences.
I love the felting technique for its abundant possibilities. I love wet felting: by using only water and soap I make scarfs, caps, handbags, slippers. I love to watch wool merge with other natural materials such as silk, bamboo, cotton-wool, etc. Suddenly you have absolutely wonderful fabrics with amazing different textures. Wool cloths are comfy to wear because they are natural, your skin can breathe and is not irritated. My feltings are made of gauzy merino wool that usually does not irritate skin when in contact with it.
Even though some felts can be really extravagant, I personally love simplicity and I am totally ok to make daily items, worn in daily life. Sometimes I decide to work with bright colors and sometimes I work just with self-colored natural wool. I personally love felted slippers made of self-colored wool and embroidered with small roses. My mom used to make such roses when I was a little girl so they bring back some heart-warming memories.
I am not a pro, I have never studied felting designs in any school but I try to get better at it personally – I read a lot of special literature, analyze works of world-famous feltmakers, learn to combine colors. New ideas and inspiration very often come in the midst of daily life through observations of small things or some unusual color combinations. Very often new ideas come right before sleep: when kids are in their beds and I don’t have to think of daily chores, my thoughts go back to my projects. So I might say that I go to sleep with felting on my mind.
At present I just enjoy doing the job that I love. I have a lot of new ideas and want to try new techniques and forms.
Today I work together with my husband: I felt slippers, scarfs, shawls and smaller items, compose new products, communicate with clients, prepare parcels, and Robertas makes cat beds, makes all the necessary tools, prepares the workplace and enhances the felting technique. We are a great team and we love working at home where at the same time look after our 3 kids. It is definitely hard to coordinate all the activities when you are a mom and a worker – especially during busy holiday seasons. But still I am very happy that our children are actively involved and always with us.
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