Felt is probably the oldest textile known to man, examples of it in various forms, particularly clothing, having been found to date back some 3500 years. It is even believed to have been made and used by pre Bronze Age people.
I came across the art of felt making some time ago and was immediately enthralled by both the process and the product – a fabulous, unique and tactile material, providing endless opportunities for design and use.
I use fleece from different breeds of sheep so that I can vary the texture of the final product, from very fine to quite coarse, which can then be used in various combinations or just on their own.
Each piece of fleece in hand dyed, after which it can be mixed, overlaid, or interwoven with other pieces to achieve the colours and tones I am looking for, very much like mixing pain on a palette.
All the pieces I create – the end products of the colouring and felting process – are individually handmade, and I often include other materials, such as silk fibres, hand painted or dyed silk, and silk paper, to give additional textural and visual dimensions.
Inspiration for my creative work comes from what is on my doorstep and all around me in this stimulating and picturesque northeast neuk of Scotland: landscape, sea, sky, wild flowers, birds, hares, seals, dolphins and …..sheep.