Fiber artist Tonya Vance received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Murray State University, Murray, KY. She was introduced to felting through the Lexington Fiber Guild and continued to explore this art through workshops.
After experimenting with different types of wool, Vance settled on using wool from merino sheep. She explains, “Merino wool felts better because it is a finer, shorter-length fiber. It tends to felt smoother.”
Vance enjoys using the wet-felting process, where loose wool is laid down in layers and agitated using warm water and soap The process locks the wool fibers together. The felted wool can then be formed into shapes and left to dry. Vance often adds a thin “cobweb layer” of silk fibers over the felted wool to add contracting color.
Tonya is a recipient of a 2012 EcoArt Grant by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Department of Environmental Quality. She is a member of the Fiber Guild of Lexington and the Lexington Fashion Collaborative.
Tonya’s work can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.