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Jelena is one of EtsyRank's earliest members. Like a lot of sellers, she was searching for a way to improve her brand and discovered EtsyRank through the Etsy forums and has been a regular user since. Jelena wanted to share with us her passion for felt making. She is not a native English speaker, so I will do my best to share her story in her words, with a few edits along the way. - Anthony

I am an artist specializing in life-like animals. Sometimes I thought I was born with paint brush in my hands. I fell in love with felt in when was waiting for my youngest son to be born.

Felt making is a long and physical process during which natural fibers, like wool, linen and silk, are entirely felted by hands in an ancestral technique: just some hot water, vinegar and handicraft are used to merge the fibers together without glue or sewing. 

Wool is amazing medium to work with. It is a unique material with rich colors, heat as the mother's hands and endless possibilities, that is why it really touched my heart and became important part of my life. From photos I create pet portraits, sculptures, paintings and art dolls. I sculpt with a special barbed felting needle.

I am interested in how far I can push the boundaries of felt making 

Being an artist is not just putting a brush on canvas, it means to see the world inside every thing around us. I loved to paint. My father would show some of my works to his friend and other artists, and eventually I went to art school where I was growing as an artist and learning. But I needed more and more. It was like a great challenge. I tried more techniques and found the wool. It was amazing experience, I could connect painting, texture and sculpture. It was like a game between real and other worlds. My way was learning by myself, making mistakes and looking for better ways.

Felt making is just the tip of the iceberg. It is very popular craft now. But you can't do it without passion and love. Felting is a very warm art branch. You must feel it. Art is not money and vice versa, it is something that makes you feel.  At first you see idea in your mind, then it becomes something more. The purpose of art is not produce product, but  produce thinking.  It is love to give something, not reserved

I have provided custom paintings of beloved pets for clients around the world. My art works lives mostly in private collections.

I sell my art on etsy and my own website. Often peoples find me from other customers, which makes me happy. I take pride in producing things that brings smile to peoples' faces and makes day to day life a little bit beautiful.

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