Artist Profile: Sylvia Brestel

Fiber artist Sylvia Brestel shares her portfolio and talks about the different types of art she creates.

 

"Lonnie's Love Silk Neckpiece" by Sylvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

How would you describe your body of work?

“Evolving” would be the word that comes to mind immediately to describe my work. I enjoy experimenting with fibers to see what else I can create. My art work is comprised of wearables, accessories, wall art, and sculptures. I thrive in a world of design, texture and color! Customers smile as they enter my booth at art fairs. They say they recognize my work right away because of the vibrant colors.

 

"Saffron Woods Wrap" by Sylvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

My felted work appears delicate, but is actually a very durable integration of silk and wool fibers. Wool, an organic and sustainable medium, has been in use for thousands of years. I am on a journey to discover artful and contemporary ways to work with this amazing treasure of our earth.

 

Kentucky River Wrap by Sylvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Every time I sell my work, a little of my heart goes with it. At a recent art fair, as I was wrapping a piece up for a customer, I said, “Sometimes, it’s hard to let go. This one’s my favorite piece!” A customer nearby smiled, “That’s what you said about the piece you sold me!” We all laughed. “I know,” she continued, “you get attached to your work, don’t you?” “Yes!” I said smiling. I marvel at wool’s amazing attributes and, after living and working with a piece, it definitely becomes a part of me.

 

"Alyssa Shoulder Warmer" by Silvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

What different types of techniques do you use in your fiber art?

My work is typically wet felted and I often embellish with needle felting. I enjoy using various other techniques such as hand dying, hand felting, nuno felting, and compression resist techniques like shibori, particularly methods that incorporate stitching and hand tying. I love surface design and use it on much of my work. Hand stitching and embroidery is very relaxing and meditative.

 

"Sanctuary Wall Art" by Sylvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I also enjoy adding crochet, glass beads, and machine sewing when the work calls for it. My animal scarves and animal wall hangings begin with thread painting. Similar to drawing or painting on a canvas, the fibers are placed individually or a few at a time to create the face or figure before the piece is wet felted. My sculptures begin with a wire armature and involve wire wrapping with wool fibers and yarn.

 

"Symbol of Hope Wrap" by Sylvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

What has inspired you to create your work and how has it evolved?

My work is a direct result of my experiences and environment. Not too long ago, I was invited to participate in an art show. I agreed and looked forward to being part of the group of local artists. I learned that the art to be displayed at this particular art fair would be focused on wall art. Well, I didn’t have any wall art. With the show just a few short months away, I worked around the clock to create wall hangings and by the time the show rolled around, I had several pieces of wall art to fill my booth space. I really enjoyed making these pieces so, after the show, I worked on a few more. Good thing! Right around the corner an exhibit opportunity popped up and I was ready.

 

"Tree Hugger Sculpture" by Silvia Brestel. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Another time, an exhibit opportunity presented itself. The theme was chairs. I didn’t have a clue how I would do it, but felt compelled to go for it. I began sculpting with wire and wool. I was accepted into the exhibit and two of my pieces sold right away. Themed exhibits can provide a stimulus to try new directions. I expect I will always be looking for new challenges along this artful journey.

 

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