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Needle Felting Retreat in Italy with Jaana Mattson

Postponed until global herd immunity!  

The details below were for a scheduled retreat in 2020, which was sadly cancelled, as most things were. 

When travel becomes safe again I hope to reschedule.  Perhaps 2022?

There is no better way to channel inspiration than to immerse yourself in a NEW landscape. 

Come absorb the beauty of Italy with me for a week of needle felting tutorials and “la dolce vita” of shared creative experience.


This all-inclusive 8-day workshop is just a 2-hour drive north of Rome at the intersection of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, adjacent to the picture-book village of Farnese, Italy.  Parts of the country house where we work and live date back to the 17th Century, with the 1400 sq. ft studio in a converted granary.  The retreat is open to artists and enthusiasts of ALL levels.

This retreat includes demonstrations, lectures and projects with a full day of leisure in the middle of the week.  All materials are supplied for you.  Accommodations at the villa include continental breakfast with a full lunch and dinner of regional food and wine prepared by our own local cook.  In addition to studio and class time, there will be many opportunities each day to explore the surroundings with trips to nearby villages, lakes or hot springs in northern Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria.


Fee for all-inclusive 8-day workshop: $3475 us. per person.

Accompanying non-artist/family add $1850 us. (double occupancy & meals).

Transportation is not included.

Carbon offset donation included for all participants.

Registration Fee: $500 deposit (non-refundable).  More details sent upon registration.  

Space is limited. 

Contact Jaana to reserve your space at 612-723-2114 or

For questions about logistics contact Liz Mayo at 772-321-5490 or

(all photos below taken on site at the villa/country house and village of Farnese)

Needle Felted Landscapes in Italy

“Landscape is full of spiritual spaces.   As an artist I aspire to capture anything so vast, intimate or transcendent as nature, and it is a challenge to do justice to this feeling, this “sense-memory” of a natural place.  I have never been a painter, preferring the process of sculpture and craft forms, so it has been intensely satisfying to discover and explore uncharted territories in fiber.  Over the years needle felting has slowly evolved for me as a way to represent both what I see and how I feel about the subtlety and grandeur of the natural world.  Drawing on a formal education in fine art and fibers, I have developed a painterly, impressionistic approach using unique blending and layering techniques, guided by color theory.  As my understanding of the materials and tools available has grown over years in the studio, my ability to translate the landscapes in my mind has evolved as well.  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



Jaana Mattson lives and works from her home studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota (unless she has escaped to the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC for part of the winter).   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 through welding, stained glass, encaustic medium and fibers combined with found objects. She began developing her current body of needle-felted fiber work in wood in 2014.  When not travelling the country to show her work, Jaana is at home in with her dogs in the studio and woodshop or teaching workshops.

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