Christie Lower‘s artistic career emerged from an unexpected source — a desire to find a fulfilling hobby while balancing the demands of motherhood. What began as a quest for something to do during her son’s activities evolved into a deep exploration of needle felting and textile sculptures. Her work is inspired by the animals and nature that surround her home in Eastern Oregon. Lower sculpts life-like birds and wildlife using wool, a needle, and sometimes a base or metal structure depending on the scale of the piece. 

Lower recently exhibited at Art Center East, her show was aptly titled “Fiber in Flight.” This showcase highlighted her signature style of creating vibrant and detailed fiber sculptures, capturing the essence of birds in flight. From barn owls to kestrels, each piece showcased Lower’s craftsmanship and artistic vision.

What sets Lower’s work apart is her dedication to creating full-scale sculptures, a rarity in the world of needle felting. By incorporating a blend of techniques and materials, her pieces fly beyond traditional notions of your grandparent’s fiber art, and blur the lines between sculpture and textile art. Lower sometimes paints her sculptures to achieve striking details and lifelike appearances, as well as sources a full pallet of differently colored wool to infuse each piece with vibrancy. 

Lower teaches online classes and workshops, sharing her techniques with a global community of fiber art enthusiasts. Her online platform provides a space for learning and collaboration, fostering creativity and skill development among aspiring artists.

This year, Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture has the theme “Transitions and Migrations.” Coinciding with that, Lower is gearing up to create a full-scale barn owl sculpture, which is inspired by the forced migrations of birds due to forest fires. Lower’s project promises a poignant exploration of environmental themes through art.

Mark your calendars for Lower’s needle felting workshop for beginners. Attendees will learn the art of needle felting, and create three charming succulents using basic techniques. The workshop is scheduled for June 15, 9 am – 12 pm, register today.

Published On: May 24th, 2024 / Categories: Pine Meadow Ranch, Pine Meadow Ranch Programs /