Hi! I’m Jocelyn Gayle Krodman, the artist and designer behind Petit Felts. My home and studio are located in an old schoolhouse in Copake, New York – a small town in the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley. I make needle-felted animals that can can be used as finger puppets or decorative pieces.
I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in metals and jewelry in 2005. After spending a few years working in hospitality and making jewelry on the side, I eventually began working as a recruiter for SCAD. I spent my days preaching to kids in art classes that they should pursue creative lives and put themselves on a path to make a living doing what makes them happy. Meanwhile, I had been so caught up with work that I had completely abandoned creating anything! A few years into the job, I realized I needed to take my own advice and make some big changes for myself. In 2011, I took a big risk and quit my job to move up north to a rural town where I could figure some things out. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
My new surroundings inspired me to start making art again, but it didn’t take long before I realized that working with metal was not close to my heart. Some years prior, I had learned the basics of needle felting from watching a friend at a coffee shop, and this gave me the idea to make some little felted animals to bulk up my jewelry display at a local craft fair. I was completely blown away when those little animals sold out and I started to receive orders for more! Not only was I creating again, but I was creating with a passion that I hadn’t felt in years. Within a few weeks, I started Petit Felts and opened my Etsy shop.
My pieces are 100% wool, without armatures of any kind. My process begins with hand-dyeing the wool on my stovetop. Once it’s dyed and dried, the needle felting can commence! When I’m beginning work on animals that I’ve not made before, I study pictures to get an understanding of their facial structure and posture. After looking at those initial photos, I prefer to work from my head. This allows each piece to develop a personality of its own. I’ve always been fascinated by how the simplest things – the placement of an eye, for example – can completely change the energy of a piece.
Etsy has given me the incredible opportunity to sell internationally from the comfort of my own studio. I’m always amazed at the different places my animals end up. I like to travel vicariously through them! As Petit Felts moves forward, my goal is to continue expanding my felted menagerie and to preserve the care and love that I put into each of my pieces as my business grows.
Photos by Andrew Molleur.