Adorable and quirky felt figures inspired by colourful sea life

Hiné Mizushima knows how to have fun with felt. Not only can this Japanese artist craft beautiful, life-like figures from wool materials, but she chooses to do so with adorable, almost cartoon-like creatures.

Though she can turn her felting hand to many subjects, we are completely captivated by Mizushima’s work with peculiar creatures of the sea, such as squid, octopus, sea slugs and shellfish. These often ugly animals become utterly charming through Mizushima’s imagination and are posed in both life-like surroundings and imaginative setups, as realistic as a seabed and as eccentric as a friendly sleepover.

Each piece is handmade and embellished with tiny pins, buttons and the occasional prop — creating miniature worlds with simple details. Some felt figures are used as accessories and brooches (including a spotted garden eel complete with bone detail!), while others have been used to create sets and dioramas.

Mizushima was born and raised in Japan and lived all over the world before settling in Vancouver with her family. A slow crafter, needle felter, stop-motion puppet animator and artist, her work has been used for commercials, music videos, gallery exhibitions and magazine publications.

Her felt creations and prints are available to buy from her Etsy shop.

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