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Kiyoshi Mino's Felt Menagerie

Sparrows, lambs and dramatic chipmunks by an Army vet, farmer and artisan

by James Thorne in Design on 20 March 2013

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Made with only a needle and some carded wool, Kiyoshi Mino's large and small felt animals are delightful sculptures of farmstead companions. The colorful ducks, pigs and sparrows are born from a time-consuming process that boils down to a ball of wool and significant dexterity in needle felting, a craft the artisan learned at The Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts.

Now living and working at the two-year-old Lucky Duck Farm in Forest, Illinois, with his wife, Emma, Mino turned to farming and husbandry after serving four years in the army and returning from Afghanistan with the desire to live more simply.

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Mino starts with the animal's face with the intent of capturing a particular emotion, something he does remarkably well, from his rendition of the YouTube-famous "Dramatic Chipmunk" to the tentative glance of a cautious kitten. The felt sculptures are available from ODLCO and are priced from $50-$400.

Images courtesy of ODLCO

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