Felt Fervour in the Chamber of Miracles

From 2013 through 2016, Suse Federschmid kept the "Wunderkammer" shop in Nuertingen. We paid her a visit in summer 2015. In July 2016, Suse closed her shop for good to find new treasures and ideas.

"The heart must have hands — the hands must have hearts" (Tibetan saying)

"Suse Federschmid, feltmaker, Giantling Alley, Schwanstein". A letter sent to this address will be returned, but a feltmaker bearing the name Federschmid ... that sounds quite like Mirrorworld.

In addition, in Suse’s shop there are many items which definitely could have been found beyond the mirror: fairy nests, dragon skin, the skeletal tail of an Indian firedrake, eyes of a giant chameleon, Goliath’s back teeth ... and even a huge Man-Swan feather, that makes you want to touch it.

It’s the same with those life-like felt animal heads watching from the walls: unicorn, wild sheep, goose and donkey hanging quietly side by side.

The eyes of future felted friends (Photo: Michael Orth)
Photo: Michael Orth
Felt fervour in the "Wunderkammer" (Photo: Michael Orth)
Suse is a rabid flea market browser. Behind her you can see a collection of her finds. (Photo: Michael Orth)
Sewing, hammering, stapling, sticking. Letting creativity run wild (Photo: Michael Orth)
That moth on Suse's finger was not sent by the Dark Fairy, but was made by a German artisan. (Photo: Michael Orth)
A display of Suse's "Fantastic Finds": Goliath's teeth and fairy nests (made from parts of trees and other items found in nature) and bookpage butterflies (Photo: Michael Orth)
A felt artist's workplace (Photo: Michael Orth)
You sadly can't feel it in the picture, but the unicorns are made from llama wool (Photo: Michael Orth)

And what’s more, the shop is called Wunderkammer, like the one owned by Therese of Austry. Suse Federschmid had her name long before Cornelia started travelling through Mirrorworld, but her shop’s name is directly connected with Cornelia’s books. She picked it from Reckless.

The Wunderkammer opened in 2013. Shortly after the opening, one of Suse’s furry friends set off for LA and moved into Cornelia’s writing house. How did they connect?

On 10 February 2013, the fashion designer and felt artist Suse Federschmid posted a message on Cornelia’s Reckless Facebook page:

"Dear Cornelia Funke, my daughter Anna and I are big fans of your books. We like to have them read to us by Mr Strecker. Austry’s Chambers of Miracles inspired me to call my shop “Filzwahn in der Wunderkammer“ (Felt Fervour in the Chamber of Miracles). The opening will be on 2 March. Though it’s not as pompous as inside the Empress’s palace, I’m quite sure Jacob would like it there! Thank you so much for all your wonderful inspiration. We wish you many more good thoughts and are looking forward to Jacob’s next adventures."

Cornelia replied: O, dear Suse, how exciting!If you like, Jacob and I will send you a “Good luck for the Wunderkammer“ letter!

That letter is now hanging in Suse’s shop.

We hope you enjoy the photos we took during our visit to Suse’s shop. Maybe you will even feel encouraged to create your own needled or knitted friend or anything that could be found beyond the mirror? Let your creativity off the leash and send us pictures: mail@corneliafunke.com.

Photo: Michael Orth
Change of perspective: through the eyes of a hare (Photo: Michael Orth)
Photo: Michael Orth
Photo: Michael Orth
This is Alma, the guardian of the "Wunderkammer". Suse found it at an antique market, one day before the opening of her shop. (Photo: Michael Orth)
Suse thinks that prey animals can easily be given life-like expression because of their eyes. Positioned on opposite sides of their heads and with their non-circular pupils they give the widest possible field of view. Useful for spotting predators. On this picture, Suse is sketching a goat's eye. (Photo: Michael Orth)
A corner for the unforgettable Astrid Lindgren. Postcards with quotes from her work, handwritten and drawn by Suse (Photo: Michael Orth)
A seedbox filled with oddities, which all might be found in Jacob Reckless' s backpack (Photo: Michael Orth)
Drawing. Another of Suse's talents (Photo: Michael Orth)
Suse showing us the raw material the "Goliath teeth" are made from (Photo: Michael Orth)
Photo: Michael Orth
Suse uses a sewing thread to mould the hare's mouth until it shows "the right face". (Photo: Michael Orth)
Suse has always been crazy about animals. When she was a child, she used to bring home injured lizards and birds. Are there any animals on her wish list, she hasn't felted yet? "Oh yes, the "Africans"! Elephant, lion, giraffe... and some of the endangered animals. The sale proceeds would go to wildlife conservation projects. That's one of my dreams!" (Photo: Michael Orth)
Photo: Michael Orth
Gentle Mr. Donkey has the perfect view of the "Wunderkammer" (Photo: Michael Orth)
The noble raven Abraxas, like a scholar wearing a lapel flower (Photo: Michael Orth)
Her name is Liz Taylor. Her new owner is a passionate film fan. He also purchased a felt goat from Suse's shop, which he calls Richard Burton (Photo: Michael Orth)
Simple elegance (Photo: Michael Orth)
What are your favourite animals, Suse? "I'm very fond of goats, because they have such funny and cheeky characters." (Photo: Michael Orth)
This stone face... (Photo: Michael Orth)
... is not made of stone, but felt. Suse found a combination of techniques, which makes this felted gargoyle look like it's been carved out of stone (Photo: Michael Orth)
A C.H.I.X. chicken (NOT for sale, at the request of Suse's daughter Anna) (Photo: Michael Orth)
Guess who this is... (Photo: Michael Orth)
The horned marten "Gwin" has been on Suse's "to felt list" since she read Cornelia's Inkworld trilogy (Photo: Michael Orth)
Thank you, Suse, we enjoyed it here! (Photo: Michael Orth)

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