Collector’s Choice: Sylvia Brestel



Sylvia Brestel

Elegant Wearable Art, Hand Felted Silk and Wool

On a hot July day in 2012…

I sat at my kitchen table to make my first hand felted bowl from wool. The sensation of manipulating the soft, natural fibers in my hands seemed comfortably familiar to me and led me to ask “what if I tried this…or this…”

As a child, I enjoyed working with pieces of this and that – cloth, paper, thread, yarn, and anything else that I could find to keep my hands busy creating dolls, clothes for my dolls, wall hangings, pillows, and little bags.




Time appears to stand still while I am intently putting pieces in place to create a whole, especially if the work involves hand stitching or beading. Creating art is a very deliberate and meditative act of process. Like writing music or putting a puzzle together.

Felting is a lot about putting pieces together to create a whole. Throughout my handmade journey, the “what ifs” continued. I explored nuno felting, dyeing and painting and shibori binding using techniques of hand tying and hand sewing. I applied what I had learned from working with fiber and other media and researched information online. The processes of surface design and ways to create texture are abundant.



When I cook, I scan the recipe and then do my own thing adding a little of this and a little of that. Cooking, like many things I enjoy, is intuitive to me. A piece of this, a piece of that.

For me, working with fiber is very much about using this and that to create a whole. Small pieces that have the opportunity to fit together to create a design that wasn’t there just a few minutes ago. It is amazing to watch as seemingly disparate parts come together into a unified whole. Sort of like working on a puzzle that has many, many possible outcomes. Each idea delightful simply in the potential it invites.





It is my hope that my art will resonate my love of the process of working with fiber as I follow along the pathways of “what if…” one small piece at a time.

When you wear my fiber art, it is my wish that you will be wrapped in the happiness from my heart that is lovingly hand felted into each piece.





KIRSTEINFINEART gives many thanks to Sylvia Brestel for sharing her work with us. For more informative features on some of today’s best contemporary artists, go to the bottom of this page and click the subscribe button. Thanks so much!

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