Jaana Mattson lives, works and teaches from her home studio in Minnesota. In 1999 she completed her MFA with a focus in fibers at UW-Seattle. After designing and producing art jewelry for 10 years, Jaana returned to her mixed-media roots to explore craft in new and sculptural dimensions through welding, stained glass, encaustic medium and fibers combined with found objects. Her current body of wood and fiber work emerged from this study of diverse media, with a sole focus on developing her techniques in needle felted landscapes since 2014. When not travelling the country to show her work or teach felting classes, Jaana is at home with her dogs, in the studio and teaching workshops in Uptown, Minneapolis, MN.
Using delicate layers of dyed roving, my needle felted wool textiles are built and anchored one wisp at a time with a notched needle until the image becomes fabric. With these materials. one can manipulate light and color in much the same way as an impressionist painter, with the resulting layers of fiber blended by the viewer’s eye. The organic textures of wool and wood energize each other as the textile is recessed into locally milled or reclaimed timber. Through the placement and finishing of the woodwork around each textile, the resulting mixed-media sculpture takes on a resonance greater than the sum of its parts.
“These landscape compositions are meditations on nature; the vibrancy of sunlit fields against ominous clouds of an approaching storm, the sounds of insects singing in tall grass or waves lapping the shore by moonlight. I consider the mood of each landscape and draw from my own sense memory, working from many photographs while adding my remembered feelings to the final work. After laying down abstract colors using impressionist theory as foundation for the composition, I build up to the final details where the smallest highlight can snap my vision into focus. I am surprised each time I stand back to view my own work, feeling myself drawn into the space created, where both the drama and serenity of nature are a balm to my senses and a reassurance in turbulent times.” – Jaana Mattson