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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

From Living Room to Closet, Fiber Artist Cynthia Boudreau Creates Something Beautiful for Everywhere

Updated: May 29, 2023


A model strolls down the runway at a recent UNCOMMON THREADS fashion show produced by Fine Creative Arts Center sporting a Cynthia Boudreau creation called, "Swinging with Kadinsky". Scroll down for more of Cynthia's fiber artistry...


I have been a “secret admirer” of the fiber artistry of Naperville, IL resident, Cynthia Boudreau, for a long time. This week, I finally had the treat of chatting with her about her Nuno felting work which has been a staple at Fine Line Creative Arts Center, St. Charles, IL (Uncommon Threads show) and also at Naperville Art League, Naperville, IL. She is currently on the faculty at Fine Line.


When she shared that her work ethic stems from a German-Austrian family background, “to always do your best,” I was not surprised. Everything I’ve ever seen of hers is stunning.

After years of sewing, tailoring, embroidering and weaving fabric for clothing and wall art, she discovered Nuno felting. Nuno is the Japanese word for fabric


“Weaving is very structured and mathematical, but when I discovered Nuno felting, I found it freeing and fun to do,” she explained.


From wearable art clothing to the 3-D of felted upholstery, vessels and even teapots, she knows what her wool, bamboo or silk fibers can do as she consistently challenges both herself and her chosen medium into new directions.


Without getting too technical, Cynthia explained that the types of roving she uses is based on the project.


“I use pre-dyed Finnish wool for vessels, Merino from Australia for clothing and also for upholstering furniture,” she said. She’ll add other fibers, such as silk, often for embellishment.


Cynthia purchases mid-century modern furniture for its ability to blend into most people’s décor and then upholsters it. This includes making covers for benches, footstools and ottomans.


“These sell well, and in part, I believe it is because customers like the functionality of it,” she noted. “And, because it is tightly felted, it holds up well to daily use.”


According to Cynthia, felting is an art form that involves a minimal investment without the need for such expensive equipment as a loom, wheel or kiln which makes it affordable.


“All you need besides the fibers are your own energy, soap, and water,” she said. “It’s like magic. You never get bored with wool and the million directions you can go with it.”


Cynthia has an undergraduate degree in art and graduate degrees related to her education administration career. She retired as the principal of a school in LaGrange, IL.


Cynthia has won many awards for her work and shows her work often locally at the Naperville Art League Gallery, Dempsey Gallery at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles and at the Fine Art of Fiber Show every November at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL.


BLUE WAVE vessel


SUMMER BOUQUET footstool top


TREE LOVE wall art


RISE UP wall piece


NEW ZEALAND FIORDS, SOUTH OCEAN wall piece


Fiber artist, CYNTHIA BOUDREAU


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