The art of felting: 5 amazing artists using felt
Featured image: Red Planet by Janice Arnold (Photo: Bob Iyall)
Felt is one of the most versatile textiles. Many artists are attracted to this soft material because of its impact on the senses. It is malleable, durable and can transform and be manipulated into all sorts of shapes. The art of felting has had somewhat of a resurgence over the past few years.
So what is it about this simple cloth that gets makers so excited? In this article, part of our Discover… series, we introduce you to 5 top artists practicing in this field.
Andrea is a multi media artist based in rural Ontario, Canada who exhibits, teaches and lectures globally. Her innovative use of both traditional nomadic and modern feltmaking techniques, together with the skill which she applies these, has been widely celebrated. Andrea uses ancient techniques in contemporary work by combining handmade felt and unusual materials to produce organic three dimensional felt artwork and installations. She says:
“The use of wool and the alchemy of feltmaking in the execution of my art allow me to use sustainable material which is both consistent with my message and the organic nature of my work”.
For more information visit: www.andrea-graham.com
Jo Neil is a felt maker based in North West England. She has a back ground in fine art painting, specialising in charcoal, graphite, inks and oil paints. She takes her inspiration from everyday ‘mundane’ objects with an interest in our relationship to them, how we use and view them. ‘Felt like it’ was started up in 2008 as a label for Jo’s original designs that use feltmaking, stitch and fine art technique. She has over 17 years experience as a practictioner and tutor and frequently runs courses and workshops for all ages and abilities.
Fibre artist Moira West has a reputation for creating striking, fascinating and unusual fibre art. Combining textile technique with a diverse range of challenging materials, her work is inspired by nature and a desire to push boundaries whilst creating an impact to promote greater understanding of human frailty. Her working methods include hand-made felting processes incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques. Wool fibres predominate, integrated with plant and cellulose fibres, to create unusual shapes and textures. Her work invites interaction and personal confrontation with life and its unexpected pathways.
For more information visit: www.moirawestfelt.com
Born into a Dutch-Indonesian family and raised in the Netherlands, Gladys studied fine art at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht before moving to the UK in 1995. She now lives and works in Somerset, England. Her relationship with felt goes back ten years when she fell in love with the material and the versatility it can offer the artist. Gladys exhibits in galleries, has pieces in private collections and has adapted her mask work for theatrical and television performances. She is enthusiastic about working with students and has a masterclass workshop which she tours internationally.
For more information visit: www.gladyspaulus.co.uk
Jenny is a passionate felt maker from Yorkshire. Growing up she was surrounded by creative activities and she continues to explore new techniques. Twenty year ago her life changed when she was introduced to felt making as a technique by Sheila Smith. She endeavours to create well made felt work that will stand the test of time. Jenny draws her inspiration from the coastlines and moors of North Yorkshire and has a particular interest in formations and objects found there.
For more information visit: www.jennypepper.com
Do you share their passion for felt? Tell us about it in the comments section below.