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© 2019 Original Doll Artist Council of America

Jennifer Schermerhorn

I create figurative sculptures that explore the complexity of the female body, female identity, and women’s role in society.  Many of my pieces involve animals, or parts of animals, as well as women. I like to explore how domestication has been used as a tool to attempt to control and create specific roles for both women and nature.  Through this exploration, I hope to create a conversation about what it means to be a woman in modern culture.

 

My process takes natural fibers, most often sheep’s wool, and shapes it with sharp, barbed, felting needles.  The felting process slowly complicates the wool’s structure, leaving it firm and strong. I find felted wool the perfect medium, and metaphor, for portraying women.  The wool projects the qualities of warmth and physical comfort that have traditionally been attributed to the female role in our culture. And yet underlying those qualities is a mayhem and cacophony of individual fibers being forced to come together into a seamless veneer.   My sculptures are needle felted wool on wire armatures. I also use various fabrics, fibers, and found objects for embellishment.

A self taught artist, I grew up in the North Eastern US and earned a degree in Veterinary Medicine.  While staying home to raise my children, I began to explore the fiber arts. After moving to the Midwest, I learned the simple technique of needle felting at a Kansas Alliance of Weavers and Spinners conference.  Always nurturing a deep fascination with figurative and mixed media work, I immediately began using wool and felting to create my own pieces. I currently live in an old farmhouse on the Kansas prairie, with my family and small flock of sheep.

 

My sculptures have been in a variety of galleries and shows including The National Fiber Directions Exhibition, 2015 and Fantastic Fibers Exhibition 2015.