As a textile artist, I am drawn to many types of fibres. Wool is perhaps the most ancient of fibres used to create something more usable. My grandmother was a potter and the idea of making pots intrigued me until I tried it and realised it was too rigid for me. Felting caught my eye many years ago when I was in County Galway but I didn’t get it together to try until the autumn of 2022. Oh my was I hooked, it feels like its deep rooted in my DNA. Such an ancient craft, so much a part of many cultures on a primal level for centuries. The ability to create a vessel out of wool using techniques also used for pottery just feels so good. So many gifted felters here and abroad gracefully giving their knowledge, what a gift. I am learning quickly and avidly, creating bowls, vessels and wearable pieces combining other fibres, silks and found objects. This is a love affair for sure.
The more I dig, the more incredible work I am finding across the globe. Sheep come in so many more colours and varieties that you could imagine and almost every country has an indigenous species. To really understand such an ancient craft, I want to go back and learn its origins and so much more. Mongolia of course is synonymous with felting and methods as well as uses are largely unchanged for generations. Camels and sheep were and still are crucial to the lifestyle of Siberian and Mongolian herders and fibres used from both. Horses being highly revered have felted decorated blankets. Yurts are made of felted blankets, bedding, clothing and more. Colours also have meaning which is why mostly items are kept white. Nowadays we are all about colour, well I am anyway!.
I have for some years now dyed my own silks, more recently using foraged berries and plants. No surprise then that I wanted to dyed my own wool for my work. Just small amounts though. I found a Japanese felter living here in Ireland who dyes the most beautiful wools and silk wool blends, so I now have a stash of gorgeous wools the perfect shades for the Irish landscapes, woodlands and sunset skies. The sky is the limit!
I am a believer in sourcing as local as is possible when possible. Most of the wool I buy is Irish wool from Galway Sheep, Jabobs and from Irish dyers and mills. Curly locks I still get from the UK until I find someone here with those breeds of sheep.This makes for a sustainable product too.
Here are a few more of my vessels and pieces.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoy my posts. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Christmas, peace and happiness for the New Year and I will be back in January!