Theatrical Past Shows in Sculpting Characters
“I have always been an artist,” Kent Epler says. He’s versatile, multitalented, and unafraid to build upon his past.
The fourth-generation native of Montana taught himself how to work with fabric when he was 10 because his mother’s sewing machine fascinated him. Later he turned to theater, creating costumes and sets as well as directing and acting. He traveled the United States performing Shakespeare in the early 1970s, then joined an improv children’s theater for 10 years.
After receiving a degree in interior design Epler opened a kitchen design business. “This strengthened my remodeling skills,” he says, another step toward his current pursuit ― fiber sculpting. “My path has always been fiber, and fabrics, and reclaimed objects.”
He finds inspiration for his “one-of-a-kind whimsical fiber sculptures” in everyday life ― “a piece of fabric. A funny name. A lost or found object. A verse. A song.” Epler creates theatrical characters he brings to life. Either a costume is fitted to the body, or the body is fitted to the costume. During “rehearsal” he poses the pieces to find the right stance and then the right accessories. He creates their faces last, with hair and makeup appropriate to them.
Epler works his magic in a New Albany, Ind., studio. He loves meeting people at shows and seeing customers flock into shops to see his characters. “Put one in the window and the store is full!” he says.
Company Name: The Laughing Boy
Product Categories: Eco-Friendly, Reclaimed, Re-purposed, Fiber, Decorative
Studio Location: New Albany, IN