Little MyrtleI was introduced to the amazing world of felt, during a family holiday in Yorkshire, over fifteen years ago. A visit to the local museum in Hawes, revealed an exhibiting of creative work by local artists, where I came across the work of textile artist Andrea Hunter. Her extraordinary monochrome work in felt was truely inspirational. Since then I have participated in various workshops and experimented in my own time to create hand rolled felt from merino wool tops, incorporating various other wool types, textiles, fibres and spun wool to create interesting surface textures and colour combinations which lend themselves, in expressive detail, to various personal designs. My inspiration is nature itself, with an interest in the organic shapes and fabulous colours found within the environment and the living organism.
Felt itself is thought to be the oldest material known to man, dating back to 6300BC, pre dating knitting and weaving. The oldest piece of felt still in existence, is believed to date from 700BC. It was used extensively by the nomadic peoples of Central Asia in their everyday life, for tent coverings, carpets, clothing and shoes and is still being made today in countries such as Kazakhstan. The felting process is thought to have been discovered by accident when wool wrapped around the feet of nomads for protection, matted together through the combined elements of friction, heat and moisture, to form a strong and more substantial and versatile fabric. The discovery of these basic principles and essential ingredients have remained unchanged over the centuries, and are still used in the present day. Felt is an amazing substance, from its natural origins and simple construction, to its incredible versatility for 2D work and manipulation into three dimensional and sculptural pieces. It is very tactile and easy to work with, it can be as plain or as decorative as you please, it can be used for practical or decorative purposes, it does not fray and seams can be negated. Lastly it offers plenty of scope for design and creativity.
I feel that I am still at the beginning of a long road of discovery, but the journey is proving exciting. I hope you enjoy my work.