WAKE FOREST — Sally Terrell was traveling along Ireland’s western coast last summer when she started to notice a style of fiber art she had never seen before.
She stopped in a shop and asked about the art she had been seeing, and a local artist took her into her home and showed her the basics of what’s known as dry needle felting.
Using needles with tiny barbs on them, an artist punches fiber into a backing piece, using texture and color to create a fiber picture.
“You're basically creating a painting with fibers,” said Terrell, who lives in Durham.
She’s been using the technique ever since – and delights in explaining it to curious onlookers.
Her work will be on display this Friday during Wake Forest’s Art After Hours gallery walk at the Artists’ Nook, 111 South White Street. The show, which features landscapes, seascapes and animals, runs through June 10.
Terrell, 59, teaches foreign language and moved to Durham six years ago after decades in Florida. Just a few years before the move, she started painting.
She long had talked about painting and delved in with workshops and classes – and learned to love her new craft.
“I sort of have been unstoppable ever since,” she said.
The world of felting wasn’t entirely unfamiliar for Terrell, a veteran cross-stitcher and quilter. And as a painter, she knew how to think through the composition and color palate behind each piece.
When she changes her mind though, it’s far easier to reverse course with felting than painting.
“You can just pull it out and do it again,” she said.
Barr: 919-836-4952; Twitter: @barrmsarah