Afghanistan Veteran Finds His Talent For Felted Animals
Joyce Park stashed this in Arts
A degree in evolutionary biology, four years in the Army, and a year working with an NGO in Afghanistan were some of the formative experiences that made Illinois native Kiyoshi Mino decide to become a farmer and an artist of incredible felted animals.
It's a very specialized hobby:
Supplies are sourced from a shop in western Massachusetts that just so happens to specialize in needle-felting, offering almost 100 different colors from a range of sheep breeds. “Coarse wool is good for the sculpted shape because it felts into a more solid mass and merino, because it is so fine, makes convincing fur and feathers,” Mino says. He scours the Internet and old field guides for inspiration and to get the particulars right, and dedicates between five and 10 hours on the “simpler” beasts and fowl and up to 30 on those larger and more complex. The results are amazingly life-like; each character has genuine personality, depicted through pretty incredible detailing. Even Internet-meme-star Dramatic Prairie Dog was immortalized!
And while, to date, Mino’s done mostly custom requests for specific species (and pets!), his work is now available via Chicago-based design startup ODLCO.