National Craft Month – Needle Felter Sarah Cawthon
Celebrating National Craft Month with Kentucky State Fair exhibitor Sarah Cawthon
In only a couple years, Sarah Cawthon went from a complete needle felt beginner to winning the Best of Show at the 2021 Kentucky State Fair. She is no stranger to creating art, over the years she’s won multiple ribbons in quilting, while also dabbling in painting and drawing.
She has Pinterest to thank for introducing her to the craft. While scrolling through pins she stumbled across a pair of incredibly realistic needle felt horses. They were so good she initially took it for a photograph. After clicking on the article she discovered the horses were actually 12-inch works of art created by fiber artist Sara Renzulli.
As a lover of animals and all-things-cute, Sarah was instantly hooked. She began watching videos from Sarah Renzulli’s YouTube channel Sarafina Fiber Arts, learning how a simple ball of wool could be turned into an adorable animal by tangling the fiber with a barbed needle into a sculpted creation.
Needle felting is the art of sculpting wool and fiber, through the use of a barbed needle, into a 3-D work of art.
“Sculpting in 3D was not a skill I had developed though I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting in the past. It’s very satisfying to hold your creation as it comes to life. There is a point where you look into its eyes, and you connect,” said Sarah.
Interested in learning needle felting?
National Craft Month is the perfect time to learn a new craft. Sarah recommends starting on YouTube. Her favorite is the Sarafina Fiber Arts channel, where there’s a variety of projects for all experience levels. She also recommends getting your materials from a quality fiber provider, favoring Living Felt and Sarafina Fiber Arts. Though there are kits on Amazon, higher quality wool increases your chances at success. A good beginner project is Sarafina’s Sleeping Bunny.
Sarah is currently working on several projects she hopes to showcase at the 2022 Kentucky State Fair.
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