Earlier this summer, Todd and I were wondering around the SLC Farmer’s Market when we stumbled on the most delightful artist. Cathy Cartwright works out of her home in Ogden and she needle felts earrings, dolls and scupltures. Her earrings are extremely affordable, and if you have seen me around town sporting little white puffballs offset with turquoise beads, you have seen Cathy’s work.
If you aren’t quite sure what needle felting is, here is how Cathy explained it to me:
“Needle felting is the process of entangling wool fibers with a barbed needle. I start with wool roving, and press the needle into the roving. The barbs on the needle catch the scales on the wool fiber. As I push the needle through the layers of wool, the fibers are tangled and matted together.“
Cathy’s dolls are full of personality. They have faces that remind me of the vintage marionettes I loved to play with as a child. The base for each doll is a vintage bobbin, usually from an industrial textile loom. We asked Cathy about how she gives her dolls such personality and this is what she said:
“Each one is one of a kind. I have found it impossible to replicate them, and if I could, I am not sure I would want to. Just as people are one-of-a kind, so are my dolls. Their personalities come from my observations of myself and others. Sometimes, as I look at a recently completed doll, I see reflected how I felt at the time. Other times, a doll may reflect a person I encountered. For me, it is really about the what the face communicates–I try to express that through my dolls.“
Cathy is self-taught, much of her love for fiber began with sewing during her teen years. She also works with glass, paint and metal. Her work is very affordable, earrings start at $5 and dolls range from $25 to $55, depending on size. Cathy isn’t online yet, so the only way to catch her is at the Downtown Farmer’s Market, or drop us a line and we will put you in touch.