Elise Kyllo grew up in South Minneapolis, but immediately after college she discovered a love for the wilderness while guiding Boundary Waters trips from the end of the Gunflint Trail. This experience ultimately led her back to Grand Marais and to North House Folk School after many years of farming, urban gardening, and being an environmental educator and artist. Somewhere along the way, wool as an artistic medium entered her life and replaced the paints, clay, and inks with a desire to create things of beauty and usefulness with wool. “It’s somewhat of a mystery as to how I fell in love with wool, but undoubtedly it’s the close connection to the land, the sustainability of fiber from sheep, and the magical transformation of wool into an endless list of things with just water, soap, and patient agitation. Felting is completely intoxicating and never, ever dull. There is joy, playfulness, and happy surprises when working with wool, which I love to share with others.”
Elise was an Artisan in Residence in North House's Artisan Development Program where she focused on her felting practice.