January is a strange month. I'm generally so wiped out from the madness of the Christmas season that I feel like I'm unable to hold a reasonable conversation unless it involves some form of wool. Normality doesn't really apply, and it takes me at least until the end of the month to achieve anything resembling a proper conversation.
Despite the general felting fatigue, I've managed to produce some new designs, and set up a new inspiration wall in my lovely felting room, with the help of a roll of lining paper and a few joyful afternoons with some magazines, a sketch book, scissors and glue. I've also managed to get back into my yarn stash and sucessfully produce two and a half cardigans for my kids.
I am a maker. I have been occupied by creating with my hands since I was a young child. I found, then and still to this day, high value in the focus, patience, and dexterous control involved in manipulating physical materials. Ever since my mother taught me to knit at a young age, I have loved working with wool.
I becagan felting seven years ago. In 2009, an unexpected wave of redundancies in the company where I was employed gave me the opportunity to spend time with my children. A friend offered me some sheep fleeces and after I worked out how to process them, I began to look at ways to put them to use. Wet felting has become my daily passion. I continue to study various types of sheep's wool and the wonderful fiber that these varieties produce.
Felting is a fabulous contemporary art form that has many practical and modern applications. Whilst it is quite simple to learn, mastering the medium can become a wonderful journey. I obsess about new techniques and processes.
I gain inspiration from the beautiful rural setting I live in and the natural world that surrounds me. I love colour and texture. My inspiration comes from the raw organic materials I use and the traditional processes themselves.
It is wonderful to pass this skill on through my teaching and workshops. I am also interested in the possibility of simplifying the process and using alternative equipment to make the process more accessible, such as foot rolling, using a sander or a tumble dryer for example. I'm looking forward to running more workshops in the coming year.
I'm currently embroiled in exploring the contrast between the lightness of the muslin I use as a scarf base, and the deeper, heavier texture of the wool I felt into it. I am planning a series of panels which use this attribute in such a way that the finished panel can be hung over a window. I love to take a medium which is traditionally thought of as indelicate and stiff, and produce delicate pieces which play with the light.