Tylar Merrill

I am a felt artist based in Eugene Oregon. My work ranges from traditional fine arts, felt wall art, pillows, blankets, vessels, hand bags, and garments. A bit about how it all began…

When I was a little girl I used to watch my mother sew. She was a whiz at sewing and could make anything, and she always made it look so easy. By the time I was five or six I was hand sewing for all my dolls, making their clothes, quilts, pillows, curtains, and other household furnishing for my dollhouses. So when I turned nine my mother told me if I learned how to use a sewing machine she would buy me all the fabric I wanted. Now that got my attention!

 My mother began to teach me how to thread a machine, how to select fabric, how to layout a pattern, and how to make alterations to fit my own designs. When I was twelve I entered the Make It Yourself with Wool sewing contest and became an Oregon state finalist for my age division. To acknowledge this achievement all the girls were taken out to a fancy restaurant and given awards. When our meal was served, we all looked down and asked what was being served. The waitress turned and said; “leg of lamb”. With great horror, most all of us put down our forks and just picked at our vegetables until the German chocolate cake arrived for dessert. I had just recently joined 4H and learned to spin and always loved sewing with wool, but I never thought of eating the little creature that provided me this wonderful textile. With a love for textiles and design I took my mother’s challenge to heart. By the time I hit middle & high school I had an extensive wardrobe of my own creations. In 1970, I opened The Magic Box, a tailoring and custom design studio on Vancouver Island where I designed fashions and created hand-made quilts.

 I was introduced to felting in 1984 and have been captured by it’s magic and beauty.    I use my background in painting, quilting, dyeing, and design to create each unique art object. Mixing colored fibers with abstract hand strokes brings together these loves in exciting and satisfying ways. I have always loved color and fiber. Felting has given me the opportunity to combine and explore color, texturing, 3-dimensional form, folk art and fashion design. My inspiration often comes from the magical world, nature, and from experiences in my own life.