Anna Yastrezhembovskaya crafts adorable, needle-felted animals by hand. This Russian artist makes sure that each animal she creates is perfect. Scroll down to see some of Yastrezhembovskaya’s charming felted animals. From textile birds to a tiny fuzzy hedgehog, her growing portfolio of handmade toys pays homage to the many creatures that inhabit the artist’s nearby forests.
“My first toy wasn’t nearly as pretty, it was rather funny. But I enjoyed the process so much that I kept trying. I was felting during my free time, even at night, and I got better with each toy I made,” she said. The talented artist’s persistence clearly paid off, as she’s not only perfected her craft, but she now has a business selling her felted animals on Etsy.
Yastrezhembovskaya’s most popular woolen character is a super-cute bat, a toy that was first designed and crafted for her daughter. Yastrezhembovskaya had a lot of orders piling up when people saw the cute bat online. She reveals, “I am flattered that my bats won the hearts of so many people, but the number of orders I got was terrifying,” To make one felted bat it takes ten 12- to 14-hour days, so it’s no surprise that the artist feels a little overwhelmed, especially since she’s a one-woman show. “Of course, I will keep felting as many bats as I can, but I want people to understand that these toys are fully handmade, so it’s a fairly lengthy process.”
She added: “Wool is a very gentle and cozy material for me. When I sort the fibers between my fingers when I shape them with a needle – I put my soul into each toy.”