As a child I grew up in West Paterson , New Jersey, having a degree of artistic ability enabled me to get through my years of school, later graduating from the School of Advertising Art. I have raised my greatest creations , my children, Kristen, Austin and Devon in Montville, New Jersey. Then as empty nest crept up I relocated, with my Alpacas to New Milford, Pennsylvania in 2000.
Stevi T's Alpaca Encounters evolved as many things do. It began with soft sculpture rag dolls in the 80s, polymer clay (Cernit) direct sculpt art dolls in the 90s, becoming an active member of Original Doll Artist Council of America, and then needle felted animals in 2000.
Needle felting was the result of raising Alpacas to create wigs for my one of a kind dolls. In 2000, needle felt fiber art was relatively new in the doll world. Since I had fiber right at hand, I began researching needle felting, a form of dry felting with a single tool. Realism was the avenue I choose to take in the designing of my wildlife creations. Where most artists were purchasing their fiber, I was fully processing my own by washing, dying and carding. It was back to old school techniques, of which I had to learn. Rewarding but extremely time consuming. But I literally take my fiber art from animal to finished product.
Early in my career I was a guest on Regis & Kathy Lee, making my soft sculpture dolls on the show. My art and alpacas also made guest appearances on News 6 NJ. Over the years I have been honored to win many awards beginning with The Golden Teddy Peoples Choice , TOBY Awards for both industry & Peoples choice, in several categories, and an Award of Excellence for my Polar bear and Lop Ear Rabbit. In 2017, Ernie’s Steampunk biker mouse won TOBY Industry Choice and Peoples Choice and an URSA Award. The cottontail rabbit won the URSA and the Alfonso Bear Artist Award. In 2018, Steampunk magazine featured four pages of my creations.