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It felt the right thing to do for craftswoman weaving her way

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2020-12-02 08:10

A felted hat and a small-sized tapestry featuring a piece of ceramic and a wine cap on display at artist Ni Lingling's current exhibition in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

On one level, of course, she felt, in so many ways, that it was the right thing to do. This was a moment when an emotion and a material coincided. With a genuine love of felt, four years ago, jewelry designer Ni Lingling visited a village in Dali, Yunnan province, which is known for its traditional techniques in making the compact wool, to find a teacher.

However, she found that only a few locals still used the traditional craft, which had been passed down from their ancestors. Ni decided there and then to take matters into her own hands.

Proof of her dedication and skill are on display at an ongoing show at Daqian Contemporary Art Center in Beijing. It features more than 70 felt creations that she has made in the past three years, including scarves, hats, tapestries, jewelry and other accessories.

The exhibits are all made using traditional techniques, such as rolling, pressing or twisting the wool with other suitable textile material through the application of moisture or heat, causing the different fibers to mat together to create a smooth surface or achieve artistic patterns.

"The wool used in felt is very warm, reminding me of my childhood living with my grandma. I also enjoy the hands-on process of felting," says the 32-year-old who works for a felt studio with Shanghai Art and Design Academy.

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