Philadelphia Art Alliance Blog

Heidi Bleacher, the Felt Fairy

Fiber artist Heidi Bleacher creates a magical world of her own with her incredible felting skills. Fuzzy topiaries, appetizing donuts, eerie eyeballs, fanciful cartoon characters…her creation is beyond your imagination. Certain pieces may seem slightly creepy to some, but it is this nature that makes them so intriguing. Bleacher’s works, all in bright colors, evoke nostalgic childhood fantasies and bring back the warmest memories.

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Photography: Christopher String

The felt sculptures are built from inside out. For most of her works, Bleacher first builds a sturdy frame for the piece, usually with pipe cleaners. She then builds on this structure with felt. The artist prefers dry felting, a method that employs a needle to blend wool fibers, but she is also knowledgeable of wet felting and uses both techniques to create the whimsical pieces. The armature under the felt makes the sculpture resilient and malleable at the same time, bringing a breath of life to the characters. Her mushroom ornaments and Christmas trees bounce back and forth, just like living plants in your backyard caressed by the wind. These sculptural pieces are sure to be a lively addition to your holiday decorations!

A Philly based florist and artist, Heidi Bleacher started making felt works in 2006. Since 2013, her felt pieces have been exhibited and sold at Stadler-Kahn. Selections of Bleacher’s felt sculptures will be sold at the Art Alliance’s holiday pop-up shop–Geppetto. Geppetto will be open December 10, 2015 – January 3, 2016 from Noon – 7PM Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Mondays.

Text by Qianni Zhu, Intern.

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