I saw Moxie a few year's ago at UCU. Her work left a mark on me because it was really good and anyone that knows her work knows it is impressionable. We then began emailing each other and most of her emails made me blush and laugh. I knew I had to forge a friendship with this "moxie" lady. Now, every time I get to hang out with Moxie it still brings out some blushes in me, she inspires me and most importantly makes me laugh. She was kind enough to star in our pre Plush You kick off, teaching myself and others how to needle felt. It's fun to learn a little more about her every time we hang out (we have the same birthday) and this interview just made me learn a bit more.
S- Can you first explain what needle felting is and it's process?
MbM- Well first you should know that felt is a matted fabric and is the oldest textile known to mankind. The first felt was made through wet felting, where natural wool fiber is agitated using soapy water, causing the fibers to interlock. Bring in the industrial revolution and the felting needle was born. The needles are super sharp with little notches. When you poke wool fiber with these needles, they do the same job that the water and soap can do. Hundreds of these needles in machines make the felt you buy at the craft store. By taking those same needles in hand, "dry" felters can create flat fabrics, sculptures, etc.
S- If anyone is not yet aware of you and your mad skills yet, let's start at the beginning. When and how did you discover your love for needle felting?
MbM- I discovered felting (she said, deftly sidestepping that embarrassing and untrue thing you just said about how everybody knows about her mad skills), by accident. I saw Nikola Davidson felting at an Urban Craft Uprising event. It wasn't love at first sight, but I liked the colors and was fascinated by the process. At that time I was working with kids and had Nikola come and teach them. I bought some supplies for myself and, honestly I didn't think too much about it. I made some wallets for myself, some cuffs for friends, that kind of thing. Then one day I got bored and started "doodling" with wool and a needle...that's when magic happened. Two hours later I snapped out of my art-haze and had my first sculpture to show for it: a bunny with fangs wearing a suit. That's when my life changed forever. I stopped doing pretty much all other crafts and needle felting became oxygen for me.
Read the whole interview here