Somewhere in the South of Russia, little clumps of wool are being transformed into adorable creatures with a skeptical look in their eyes. Balancing a bucolic family life with a prolific crafting practice, Oksana Pero utilizes felting, sewing, and embroidery processes to create endearing soft sculptures. "It seems to me I don't choose these subjects, they come into my mind themselves, and they are just realized through my hands. Maybe my little son, numerous pets, and the beautiful nature inspire me to create majestic characters," Pero tells Creators.
Six years ago, Pero moved to the countryside and her Instagram account is brimming with scenes of her quiet life there. Being in such an isolated environment means Pero often has to make things from scratch, including freshly baked bread, home decor, clothing, and children's toys, along with her sculptures. She says that she even taught herself to felt by taking a class on the internet. Pero practices both needle felting and wet felting processes to create her work. The difference being that needle felting consists of puncturing the surface of the wool with a notched needle in order to tangle the fibers into a form, and wet felting requires hot water to help agitate the wool.
Luckily, wool and the repetitive process of shaping it into a sculptural form lend themselves well to a rural environment. "I appreciate wool for its ability to be soft, flexible, and warm," says Pero. She also embellishes her sculptures with little handmade details like knitted sweaters and embroidered facial features, along with a carefully rendered set of signature peepers. But despite the many crafty projects and processes Pero uses, she says that wool remains one of her favorite materials, "because its possibilities are unlimited."
See what Oksana Pero and her family are up to out in the countryside and keep up with her newest creations, including a new series of felted doll houses, on Instagram.