DeKALB – The next meeting of the Kishwaukee Valley Art League will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the corner of North Fourth and Locust streets in DeKalb. The program for the evening will show wet and needle felting. The presenter for this program will be Susan Neri-Waldron. Waldron and her husband have an alpaca farm near Elgin.
At her farm, Waldron offers classes and workshops in wet and dry and needle felting, and she sells kits for beginners in the process. She is both an experienced oil painter and a creator of felted art. She and her husband have 43 suri alpacas, so she produces her own alpaca fiber.
“My alpaca felt combines all the things I love. I love my alpacas, I love color and I love nature,” she wrote.
The alpaca fiber is hand-dyed, and it feels like a combination of cashmere and silk. Waldron feels there is a spiritual connection between the gentle animals they have raised and the composition of her felt tapestries.
In the felt process, fibers are wet down with soapy water and slightly agitated; the microscopic barbs, similar to Velcro, which are on all fibers, hook together and allow the creation of scenes that are both visual and tactile. The finished product is both more sturdy and more durable than it appears.
Waldron said, “My oil painting has grown tremendously with my experience with felt, and my felting has grown from my oil painting. I am living a life I had only dreamed of ... being able to work on my art all the time, that has been the dream since I was small."
After the program, refreshments will be served. All are invited to attend; there is no admission charge or membership obligation. The Kishwaukee Valley Art League is a nonprofit organization that meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month except January. Most meetings have a program or demonstration on some form of art by a practicing artist.