Susan Codega has loved fibers ever since her grandmother taught her to knit as a child, but it wasn’t until she had been creating handwoven objects for 35 years that she discovered felt. Once she did, she knew it was the medium for her.
“Animal fleece is an incredible, sustainable thing that, under a microscope, looks like long, scaly cylinders,” says Codega. “The springy barbed strings want to tangle with other strings and once they are intertwined and shrunk—voilà—felt!”
Codega launched her website CodegaFiberStudio.com in early 2020 for online sales and opened her space at Foundation Studios in Asheville’s River Arts district in June. She encourages visitors to touch and feel everything from the oily, newly shorn fleece to the air-light silk of a combed Suri alpaca. She loves to explain the steps in transforming an animal’s coat into a completed piece and to teach visitors about felting as an ancient technique, an art and a functional endeavor.
“Customers frequently comment that they have never seen anything like my work,” says Codega. “I make unconventional shapes and forms, always experimenting and learning.”
Her three-dimensional, tactile pieces are inspired by nature. In surrounding herself with plants and animals, she observes the shapes, textures, movement and color of flora and fauna and the earth and sky.
“Allowing the impressions to build and emerge and persuading the fiber medium into unique and beautiful forms fulfills me in a kind and gentle way,” says Codega.
Codega Fiber Studio is located at 27 Foundy Street, Suite 10. Hours are 12–5 p.m. daily and by appointment. Learn more or shop online at CodegaFiberStudio.com.