Wendo Van Essen uses 100% wool fibre to create whimsical animal head trophies from large zebras and giraffes to tiny chipmunks and squirrels. She also creates perky felted 'ladies' that recline on chaise lounges and tree branches.
In Wendo's words:
Over the past 25 years as I traveled in my career, as an animator, I gleaned an acute awareness of the tactile nature of textiles. I took many classes in embroidery, pottery, batik, bead stringing and making and finally, in Berlin, I found the art of felt making.
In 2002, I made the decision to focus less on my animation career and more on my fibre art path. I have continued to explore all the joys and trials of being a fibre artist, but I do jump back into animation when something wonderful comes along. I worked on the Universal feature "Curious George" in 2005 and on "The Princess and the Frog" which is a Disney feature that was released in December, 2009. I continue to try out new things, taking a wire sculpture course in Haliburton, ON a couple years ago, and just recently learnimg the art of Rug Hooking.