Textile artist Cheryl Janis uses a wet felting technique and dry needle sculpting to transform raw wool into dreamlike wall sculptures. Visit her website to see more of her work.
There is something deeply soulful when I work with lovingly harvested sheep’s wool from a regenerative farm that has been left unspun for me to transform into my textile art.
I sit just outside my art studio on the mesa where I live in Taos, New Mexico and open the newly arrived box. Then I close my eyes while I hold these buttery soft majestic fibers in between my fingers.
I reflect on the similarities between the fibers and the beautifully shaped clouds of the high desert of New Mexico and her surrounding landscape. I reflect on the beloved animals who give so freely, and the farmers who lovingly care for these special ones.
Filled with the colors of the rising and setting sun, the rainbows and the desert flowers, these precious fibers hold ancient wisdom from the earth and from those who have been lovingly tending the sheep for generations.
The sacred nature of these fibers tells many stories. Stories about ancestors, those in the Spirit World—the Bodhisattvas, the Goddesses, the Angels and the teachers. This is generously passed on to me through the wool, and felt deeply in the hearts of my collectors.
I listen quietly in meditation to what desires expression. It is an honor and a pleasure to create art in this way.
My name is Cheryl Janis and I am a modern feltmaker. I create organic high quality felt wall tapestries by combining the 8,000 year old craft of wet felting with the more modern art of dry needle sculpting. The results are dreamy, feathery wall sculptures. They fit in with every style, every home, and every open heart on planet earth.
My textile art is also a deep expression of healing. When the fibers of the wool are reunited through the process of wet felting into a cloth, there is conscious unity; a coming together of something that has been separated, not unlike the drop of water that has been joyfully reunited with its mother ocean.
Once felted, this backing is powerful in strength. It serves to hold the soft iridescent qualities of the feathery sculptures I install over the backing. I often use a cut and polished steel rod to hang these beauties through a felted rod pocket.
My textile art is one of the deepest expressions of my spirituality. I call upon universal love frequencies and pour them into the piece itself. By the end of the creation, there is a powerful vibration resonating from deep within the piece; a gift from consciousness—rich and potent.