My natural environment: my studio.
Photo by Sakiho Sakai.

ABOUT ME

Growing up, I was a kid who spent all day at my 'craft table' making books, teaching myself calligraphy, and gluing pom poms onto everything. Now I have an art studio that I get to work in everyday, and my process is the same as when I was working so hard at my craft table. I teach myself what I need to know by experimenting and I work on projects that make me happy.  In addition to the felt on this website, I also work in collage, mosaic and other materials. Work of that nature can be seen on my art portfolio website.


LeBrie Rich, Swanson Box, 2015. Photo by Dan Kvitka.

LeBrie Rich, Swanson Box, 2015. Photo by Dan Kvitka.

My interest in felt began when I saw a felted purse how-to in a Martha Stewart Magazine in 2002. I made the project out of curiosity. Hooked on the magical properties of wool, I started making accessories for myself and my friends. A chance encounter with a Berkeley gallerist landed me my first order for a store. As my work evolved, craft galleries around the country picked up my felt products and I began getting requests to teach feltmaking.

Through having a production line for 10 years (and therefore working in felt everyday) I became an expert in feltmaking. I never set out to be an expert; I was just so delighted by working in wool that wanted learn everything about it.


Felting workshop in rural Japan, 2013.

Felting workshop in rural Japan, 2013.

Most of my workshops are project-based. Observation led me to notice that people really like leaving a class with a finished product, not just building skills on a sampler. Walking home with felted pair of slippers that fit your feet perfectly = a worthwhile day! When learning art skills is the byproduct of making something useful that you really want, learning comes easily and naturally.

My technical knowledge of feltmaking is balanced by playful style as an instructor. My goal is to have students walk away from a really fun day of class with a slew of new felting skills and a burning desire to get started on their next project. Read an account of one of my workshops here.


LeBrie Rich, felt baby booties, 2014.

LeBrie Rich, felt baby booties, 2014.

15 years of feltmaking combined with a lifetime of crafting has equipped me with textile skills to approach a variety of projects, both functional and sculptural. I’m not a felting purist. Rather, I use hand felting as a starting point, then as the project dictates, incorporate industrial felt, stitching, appliqué and other textile techniques to get the desired look and function. I have been commissioned to make felt animal puppets for Bent Image Lab, felted AirMax baby slippers for Nike and a felt presentation box to gift reusable diapers to Kate Middleton (yes, the Duchess of Cambridge). I also make sculptural objects and artwork for private clients. Contact me if you have a project in mind.