I live in the beautiful county of North Yorkshire with my husband and twin daughters (now 18). We share our home with a large golden retriever, three rather noisy siamese cats and a turtle.
I was first introduced to felt making by my daughter, Olivia, almost 8 years ago after she had visited the knitting and stitching show in Harrogate. After attending a couple of day courses together I became firmly hooked on this ancient craft and the more I learnt about it, the more intrigued I became. It offered seemingly endless possibilities for creativity and colour which appeals to my love of variety and I found working with fibres calming, absorbing and addictive.
From then on I embarked on a journey to learn as much about felt making as possible in order to produce good quality felt, and what a journey it has been. Along the way I have made many friends and have met and been inspired by so many wonderful felt makers and teachers both here in the UK and all over the world. In particular, I am eternally grateful for having had the opportunity to be taught on so many occasions by Sheila Smith, from whose friendship, expert tuition and generosity of knowledge, I have gained so much over the years I have been making felt.
In order to deepen my understanding of design in felt, I became a student at Artybird (Carnforth). Guided by the expert tuition of Kate Horner I completed the City & Guilds Foundation level in Design and Felt making with Distinction and the Level 3, for which I was really excited to be awarded the City and Guilds ‘Medal of Excellence’ this year.
I am attracted to bold colours, shapes and textures, which often feature in my felt work. I draw inspiration from many sources but greatly admired artists such as Klee, Kandinsky and Miro and I have a love of the unusual.
Life outside ‘felt’
In my early youth I grew up surrounded by music and practical creativity as part of my life. I learned to knit, sew and crochet from an early age. However, for much of adulthood, my life left no time for creativity and I embarked on an entirely different career path. I studied law at University, became a solicitor and spent fifteen years working in the legal profession. Several years after the birth of my twin daughters, in order to be able to spend more time with them while they were growing up, I decided on a career change to teaching music. I have now been teaching music (piano, violin and singing) both in schools and privately for 15 years and still thoroughly enjoy it.
My daughters have now left school so I have more time in which I can experiment and develop my passion for making felt, a passion which I look forward to sharing with others.
Some of the inspirational felt makers I have taken courses with:
- Sheila Smith,
- Annemie Keonen,
- Karoliina Arvillommi and Rod Welch
- Andrea Graham
- Jeanette Appleton
- Chris Lines
- Artybird (Carnforth)
- Attended the Felter’s Fling (USA) 2013 and 2015 and the IFA Conference 2015
- Member of the International Feltmakers Association