I'm a self taught textile artist who is passionate about using British wool fibres from various breeds of sheep, using their unique qualities in my work. The curve of the female form can be beautifully caught when hand felting and the traditional technique of felting can be adapted in countless ways to produce amazing textures and colours.
Along with wool fibres I use silk, spun wool, paper, tulle, netting, cotton and embroidery in my work (or whatever material I need to create to look/effect I am after). Curly wool from breeds such as Wensleydale or Lincoln Long wool offer a natural and non-uniformed texture that I love. This led to me making a sample bridal gown with silk chiffon, merino wool and Wensleydale curls from where I made a commissioned bridal gown based on my sample.
An interest in tartan led me to develop a method of hand weaving then hand felting to create tartan style bodices of one piece that curve to the body. For an exhibition at the Queens Cross Church, Glasgow a few years ago, I made a Mackintosh inspired tartan bodice based on the colour ways of the Mackintosh tartan designed by Charles Randak in 2008 with his permission. I was wonderful to have my Mackintosh bodice and work on display in the only church built that Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed; something I am very proud of.
Last year I had the pleasure of making 20 scarves for the International Sheep Veterinary Society World Congress in Harrogate. Each scarf has the fleece from 50 different breeds of sheep on it (48 were native British sheep breeds) and were given as gift to the key note speakers from around the world. Most of the fleeces came to me raw, needing sorting, washing and carding before felting and all the while keeping them separate to keep each breed fibres true. It was an huge undertaking, but totally worth the countless hours as something totally unique was created.
I also use wool fibres in smaller pieces of work, mixing wool with glass to create felted light vases and nuno felted silk and wool scarves and wraps.
The more I work with wool and especially raw fleeces, the more I love the versatility and natural beauty of this amazing creative material.