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Jocelyn Krodman

Published:

After graduating from Savannah College of Art & Design with a degree in metals and jewelry, I worked many jobs, including one preaching to high school kids that they should follow their creative passions and only do what they love for a living. Taking my own advice, I re-evaluated my life. Feeling I had given up all creative pursuits, I moved to a small northern town in the Hudson River Valley, hoping the new surroundings would inspire me to create once more. Shortly after arriving, I signed up to participate in a local craft fair and made a few small felted animals to sell. When I quickly sold out of my creations and orders for more began rolling in, PetitFelts was born.

“The feeling I got from making things was unlike any other feeling.”

I was very fortunate in that I grew up with a very tightly knit family. I have a sister who is just a few years older than me and we’ve always been really close with each other and our parents. We moved around quite a bit, which had its challenges, but I really do think it taught me to be adaptable. I grew up in Connecticut, Texas and Atlanta. One constant in my life, outside of my family, was that I always loved to create things.

Jocelyn's Ark

According to my mother, I started to create as soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon. As I got a little older, anytime I wasn’t in school I wanted to be making things. I think making art has always brought me a level of calm that I find difficult to achieve doing anything else! I think I realized at a pretty young age that I was passionate about creating. It always felt special to me.

I’ve spent the last several years making my living at creating, so it plays a bigger role than ever in my life. The challenge is creating work that is a part of my personal life and not just my work life. I haven’t yet found a reserve of creative energy that allows me to create things for fun at the end of a long creative work day. At the same time, I enjoy my work day a lot more now that I spend it making things!

After I graduated from SCAD back in 2005, I was in a coffee shop and I saw a woman needle felting. Curious as to what she was doing, I asked her about it and she was sweet enough to give me a needle and some wool. I took it home and immediately was hooked. I was used to working with metal, and wool seemed like a dream material to me. I felted off and on, but ended up getting stuck in a creative rut for a handful of years. When I eventually moved up north in 2011, I started to felt again and the animals that came out of that are what turned into my current business, PetitFelts.

I have a pretty organic creative process. I don’t do a lot of planning or sketching in my studio, I tend to just start making when I get an idea for something new. In addition to designing new things, there’s a lot of time spent making the same thing over and over again. Some people have told me they would find this maddening, but I kind of enjoy watching the same design evolve naturally over time.

My creative style is whimsical with a touch of humor and maybe a little bit of darkness underneath too for good measure. I think we all find inspiration everywhere. It’s in everything from the textures, colors and shapes we come across in our daily lives, to the people we surround ourselves with.

My biggest challenge when it comes to creativity has always been self-doubt. It gets in the way of new ideas and causes me to question my abilities to manage a creative business. Thankfully, my passion to create and my desire to keep going has been able to help me push through negative self-talk, but it’s a REAL challenge.

PetitFelts Octopus

To create my animals, I start by looking at various pictures of the kind of animal I’m going to make. This gives me an idea of facial and body structure. When making the faces I like to work from my head so that they all end up with a different personality. I pick the wool I’ll need for whatever piece I’m about to work on and then get to work sculpting the wool with my needle until it takes shape. I prefer to make one animal at a time and not begin a new piece without finishing the last.

Wool affords me the flexibility to work precisely but without so much rigidity. I hand dye my wool on the stove top in my apartment and try to keep my studio well stocked with the colors I like to use. Right now I use fabric dyes to dye my wool, but I would love to eventually source natural dye from my garden. When I can figure out how to get more hours in one day, I will start doing that!

My workspace is pretty basic, perfect for what I do. It’s got a bunk with a futon, a bathroom and big windows. When I moved in, the space felt dark and unwelcoming to me, so I painted everything white and had some shelves put in. Now it’s my favorite place to be! I work best in a tidy, minimalist space, so my studio is just that. Thankfully, felting doesn’t require anything but needles and wool, so it’s not difficult to keep it organized!

“I think my biggest accomplishment is having gone from a time in my life where I had allowed my self-doubt to prevent me from creating anything at all, to making a life for myself where I get to make things all day.”

I’ve been told that my animals seem to have life behind their eyes. My animals are lifelike and that seems to be what draws people in. Most of my pieces are bought by adults buying them for themselves after making a connection with a certain piece. That’s a fun connection to watch happen.

PetitFelts Pigs

I once had a customer tell me an amazing story about a fox that used to hang around his property. The fox had that lost his mate in Hurricane Sandy and after the storm passed, the fox came up to the man’s porch and he listened to the man speak and then came and sat with him every day at the same time for two months. Eventually the fox went away and the man ordered a fox from me to have as a reminder of his special bond. He later wrote and told me that my creation brought back all of his amazing memories.

The white whale is my most popular creature; it has been my number one seller for a couple of years now. I think the whales always end up looking like dreamers and people respond to that.

The best advice I’ve ever received is to stop taking the path that you think those around you want you to take and find your way onto the path YOU want to take. Not always easy advice to follow, but had I not followed it, I’d probably still be sitting at a desk somewhere.

After graduating from Savannah College of Art & Design with a degree in metals and jewelry, I worked many jobs, including one preaching to high school kids that they should follow their creative passions and only do what they love for a living. Taking my own advice, I re-evaluated my life. Feeling I had given up all creative pursuits, I moved to a small northern town in the Hudson River Valley, hoping the new surroundings would inspire me to create once more. Shortly after arriving, I signed up to participate in a local craft fair and made a few small felted animals to sell. When I quickly sold out of my creations and orders for more began rolling in, PetitFelts was born.

“The feeling I got from making things was unlike any other feeling.”

I was very fortunate in that I grew up with a very tightly knit family. I have a sister who is just a few years older than me and we’ve always been really close with each other and our parents. We moved around quite a bit, which had its challenges, but I really do think it taught me to be adaptable. I grew up in Connecticut, Texas and Atlanta. One constant in my life, outside of my family, was that I always loved to create things.

Jocelyn's Ark

According to my mother, I started to create as soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon. As I got a little older, anytime I wasn’t in school I wanted to be making things. I think making art has always brought me a level of calm that I find difficult to achieve doing anything else! I think I realized at a pretty young age that I was passionate about creating. It always felt special to me.

I’ve spent the last several years making my living at creating, so it plays a bigger role than ever in my life. The challenge is creating work that is a part of my personal life and not just my work life. I haven’t yet found a reserve of creative energy that allows me to create things for fun at the end of a long creative work day. At the same time, I enjoy my work day a lot more now that I spend it making things!

After I graduated from SCAD back in 2005, I was in a coffee shop and I saw a woman needle felting. Curious as to what she was doing, I asked her about it and she was sweet enough to give me a needle and some wool. I took it home and immediately was hooked. I was used to working with metal, and wool seemed like a dream material to me. I felted off and on, but ended up getting stuck in a creative rut for a handful of years. When I eventually moved up north in 2011, I started to felt again and the animals that came out of that are what turned into my current business, PetitFelts.

I have a pretty organic creative process. I don’t do a lot of planning or sketching in my studio, I tend to just start making when I get an idea for something new. In addition to designing new things, there’s a lot of time spent making the same thing over and over again. Some people have told me they would find this maddening, but I kind of enjoy watching the same design evolve naturally over time.

My creative style is whimsical with a touch of humor and maybe a little bit of darkness underneath too for good measure. I think we all find inspiration everywhere. It’s in everything from the textures, colors and shapes we come across in our daily lives, to the people we surround ourselves with.

My biggest challenge when it comes to creativity has always been self-doubt. It gets in the way of new ideas and causes me to question my abilities to manage a creative business. Thankfully, my passion to create and my desire to keep going has been able to help me push through negative self-talk, but it’s a REAL challenge.

PetitFelts Octopus

To create my animals, I start by looking at various pictures of the kind of animal I’m going to make. This gives me an idea of facial and body structure. When making the faces I like to work from my head so that they all end up with a different personality. I pick the wool I’ll need for whatever piece I’m about to work on and then get to work sculpting the wool with my needle until it takes shape. I prefer to make one animal at a time and not begin a new piece without finishing the last.

Wool affords me the flexibility to work precisely but without so much rigidity. I hand dye my wool on the stove top in my apartment and try to keep my studio well stocked with the colors I like to use. Right now I use fabric dyes to dye my wool, but I would love to eventually source natural dye from my garden. When I can figure out how to get more hours in one day, I will start doing that!

My workspace is pretty basic, perfect for what I do. It’s got a bunk with a futon, a bathroom and big windows. When I moved in, the space felt dark and unwelcoming to me, so I painted everything white and had some shelves put in. Now it’s my favorite place to be! I work best in a tidy, minimalist space, so my studio is just that. Thankfully, felting doesn’t require anything but needles and wool, so it’s not difficult to keep it organized!

“I think my biggest accomplishment is having gone from a time in my life where I had allowed my self-doubt to prevent me from creating anything at all, to making a life for myself where I get to make things all day.”

I’ve been told that my animals seem to have life behind their eyes. My animals are lifelike and that seems to be what draws people in. Most of my pieces are bought by adults buying them for themselves after making a connection with a certain piece. That’s a fun connection to watch happen.

PetitFelts Pigs

I once had a customer tell me an amazing story about a fox that used to hang around his property. The fox had that lost his mate in Hurricane Sandy and after the storm passed, the fox came up to the man’s porch and he listened to the man speak and then came and sat with him every day at the same time for two months. Eventually the fox went away and the man ordered a fox from me to have as a reminder of his special bond. He later wrote and told me that my creation brought back all of his amazing memories.

The white whale is my most popular creature; it has been my number one seller for a couple of years now. I think the whales always end up looking like dreamers and people respond to that.

The best advice I’ve ever received is to stop taking the path that you think those around you want you to take and find your way onto the path YOU want to take. Not always easy advice to follow, but had I not followed it, I’d probably still be sitting at a desk somewhere.