Kiyoshi Mino is a needle felt artist based in Rock Island, IL. He discovered needle felting by accident when he and his wife were attending a yearlong organic farmer training program before starting their own farm. Kiyoshi immediately fell in love with it. He loved to draw as a kid but had never tried any form of sculpture before. It was very exciting for him to be able to draw in three dimensions with nothing but a needle and a clump of wool. He has always loved animals of all kinds and because wool is a type of animal fur itself, it is the perfect medium for realistically sculpting mammal fur and bird feathers. In his work, he focuses on wild animal species which he tries to render as faithfully as possible. Kiyoshi believes that almost all animals have unique personalities and emotional complexity just like humans and his goal when depicting wild animals is to try and convey this idea by capturing these unique personalities. He has given workshops in the US, China, Chile, and the Netherlands. His work has been exhibited in Shanghai, Boston, and New York City and featured in Fiber Art Now, Fast Company Design, and New York Magazine.

This course will provide students with the knowledge and techniques required to sculpt birds with open wings using wool and felting needle. Students will learn to use basic bird anatomy to construct a bird wing out of individual needle felted wool feathers and they will learn how to increase the detail and realism in all of their needle felt animal sculptures.