Meet the Artist

Françoise Kirkman, née Dudal, is a long time Bay Area artist, known for her whimsical creations and artwork.

Françoise worked for many years as an art director and as the creative designer for Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park. Her role at Sunset allowed her the freedom to explore with extensively diverse materials, earning her quite a reputation for her rich imagination and ability to make ideas come to life.

Now working freelance, Françoise is focusing on her managerie of needle felted animals, inspired by the many pets she has owned and cared for over the years, as well as the nature that surrounded her house in the hills of Palo Alto. She is also creating various soft sculptures and illustrations. One of her achievements includes a cookbook for children that she illustrated and co-authored with Jerry Divecchio, the former editor of the Sunset food department.

Born in the North of France, Françoise studied art in Paris and worked for Larousse before settling in California with her American husband, Will Kirkman. He shared her love of animals and plants, which you will see is reflected here among her many creations.

If you are interested in commissioning an individual custom piece, please use the form below to introduce yourself and include a short description of your desired project.

Thank you!


Françoise and Jerry promoting their Cookbook.


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© 2017 Françoise Kirkman Design. All Rights Reserved. 


Françoise with several of her needle felted animals.


Françoise with Raksha, the Artic Wolf, circa 1971.


Françoise with Cleo, her pet raccoon, circa 1969.