Dawn Waters / Red Truck Gallery New Orleans

I’m Dawn Kraditor Waters. I was first exposed to felting on a trip to Amsterdam. A friend then taught me the basics and I created scarves and swanky wraps. One day I wondered if I could make a portrait. I had not seen one made of fiber, and I had never created one with paint, pencil or anything else. My chihuahua, Chico, was my first subject. It worked. The next few…not so much. I kept at it until the likenesses were recognizable.

I’m drawn to subjects who intrigue me or those to whom I have a sentimental attachment. It’s rewarding when people feel the same about my portrait subjects. My favorite comment was, “look at this awesome Michael Jackson!” as she pointed to my portrait of Prince. People ask, “are these painted? Glued?” Many are fascinated by the process. I explain I use wool and a felting needle. “How long did these take?” They’ve taken 56 years.