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I am American/Swiss and have lived in Switzerland with my husband Herbert since 2001. I have been a U.S. Marine, an electrical engineer, an English teacher and a sales director, but I really see myself as someone who loves to make things. I’ve sewn clothing since I was a young girl and tried most of the ‘crafts’ that are out there. But my true love is fiber arts and it all started with knitting.
I learned to knit when I came to Switzerland and was amazed by the hand knit socks that so many people were wearing. As soon as I felt the yarn running through my fingers, I fell completely in love with wool fiber and all the design possibilities that ran around in my head. I was constantly knitting and always packed at least one project when I was traveling for business.
Then a friend taught me how to use a spinning wheel to make my own yarn and I started to build my collection of fiber.
While searching the internet for fiber, I kept seeing references to felting and decided to learn more about it. I read articles, watched videos and ordered books. And I felted. I started by making small pieces of fabric at our dining room table and went on to focus on making scarves. After a great deal of encouragement from others, I designed a collection of scarves and Herbert and I started Sue Kläy Designs. The company focuses on selling unique silk and wool scarves through exclusive boutiques.
I became so passionate about felting that I wanted to share it with everyone I knew. At the same time, I was slowly out-growing my workshop at home. That’s when we decided to start a business where I could work on my own felting, while providing supplies and space for anyone who wanted to learn about felting and Filz & Mehr was born.
When we designed Filz & Mehr, our main goal was to create a friendly studio with space and high quality materials where people could come to learn and create fiber related handcrafts in a fun and social environment.
As I was learning to felt, my biggest frustration was finding materials. I had only found one place with a good selection of material and it was a long drive away. The internet was always available, but shipping costs and delivery times frustrated me. We committed Filz & Mehr to carrying a large range of fiber and tools that weren’t easy to find without the internet.
The other thing I was missing as I was felting was the sense of community. Because my introduction to fiber arts was through knitting, I was used to the that culture of sitting around together while knitting and making new friends. Filz & Mehr is always open to knitting groups who need space to hang out and I would probably sit down and knit with you, but we also wanted to take that concept and use it for felting. Whether you’re an experienced felter or someone who doesn’t know a thing but is curious or someone in between, I’d love to felt with you and get to know you.
If you stop by, the chances are good that I’ll be felting at one of the tables. Don’t feel you’ll interrupt me. Come on in! Look around, ask questions, feel at home!