Laura Lee Burch
I'm from Greenfield, Indiana; I'm currently living in Jaffa, Israel. My three girls and my animals have inspired nearly everything I make. I was a graphic designer in Chicago but once we moved to Israel in 2000 I started sewing toys, puppets and costumes for my girls because it was hard to find high quality items for children. I wrote two books with patterns about making things for children: Sew Magical for Baby and Sew Magical for Kids. As my girls have grown up, my toys have evolved into playful, artful items for adults: I now needle felt animal sculptures, puppets, dolls and costume accessories. I've been making art my whole life; it's my passion:)
I create most of my pieces through the fascinating technique of needle felting, a dry felting technique using specialized needles. By stabbing raw wool with felting needles, the wool fibers mesh together creating a very firm and detailed piece.
I read the news daily; as part of my respite from the realities of life I spend a little time each day looking at pictures of animals and this lifts my spirits and lightens my mood. Because I’m a huge animal lover, I endeavor to needle felt animal sculptures that evoke uplifting and/or humorous feelings in the viewer; I want the viewer to laugh or smile and to feel something positive from my felted pieces.
I try to amuse my viewers (and myself) with my needle felted works with humor but sometimes my entertaining needle felted animals aim to educate and elicit awareness about the plight of particular animals. I prefer to educate and offer awareness by gaining the attention of the viewer with humor and beauty rather than with extreme and shocking subject matter that I find hard to view.
Some of my needle felted pieces have messages, for example I’ve needle felted many dog breeds for dog lovers but the “bully breeds” sculptures I’ve felted are meant to bring awareness to the misinformation and unfair treatment of dogs such as Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terrier or a mix of these breeds which are often referred to as Pit Bulls. Sales of many of my needle felted dogs are donated to animal rescue organizations. My needle felted pigs are part of my “NOT” series. NOT Bacon is meant to point out that pigs are sentient animals very similar to dogs and in my opinion animals should not be eater or worn.
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