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News, thoughts & other woolly notions

A change is as a good as a holiday, they say. So with that in mind I have been taking a little bit of time out from my sculptural work to enjoy playing around with colour and 2-dimensional felt.

A world away from the masks I have been making, these colourful experiments represent the freedom to create without any purpose other than creating. 

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Every year my local contemporary art centre Black Swan Arts organises a unique arts competition for creative kids of all ages.

The winners of the Young Open Art Competition came to the Main Gallery at the Black Swan on Saturday 22nd March for a special preview and to meet the competition judges, Mayor of Frome Dickon Moore, renowned artist Mark Karasick and Sinead Foley, the creator of the shop Seed.

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A very positive review of the Black Sheep exhibition at the National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford (UK) by Katy Dunn for the Crafts Council’s magazine Crafts.

The review also includes a mention of my work and coming from such a well respected publication, that is high praise indeed!

A quote from the article: “This exhibition explores the possibilities of felt as a three-dimensional medium. There is no stitching involved; these are surprisingly contemporary sulptural, constructed works that can be unsettling in the relationship between form and material, while others are breathtaking in their technical brilliance.

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Unbeknown to our artist collective, OWL Gallery was recently visited by a roving reporter from American on-line magazine Creative Fluff.

Some days later and completely out of the blue, I received word they had written a review of my work for their website.

Its exciting to receive some recognition for my work from outside the world of felt, as the medium still largely occupies a a ‘craft’ niche. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but for someone who would like felt to become more accepted as a credible medium within the visual arts market, this is good news.

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Having worked from my dining room table for the past few years, I am delighted to have found a temporary studio space in the artisan quarter of my town.

A former run-down bargain store waiting to be transformed into a restaurant with accomodation above, for now the space is filling with little shops and creative types.

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The National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire have dedicated an entire touring exhibition to the medium of felt, which will include some of my work.

Black Sheep curator Laura Mabbutt, says:

“I hope this exhibition will give this unique and versatile medium the accolades it deserves as well as those working within the medium, and will highlight the many contemporary applications of this ancient material beyond its stereotypical ‘fuzzy felt’ reputation.

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It has been 6 weeks since I spent a day making eco-print bundles. Today I finally allowed myself to unwrap them.

Much to my delight, some lovely little prints and subtle surprises revealed themselves. I am excited to start turning these little samples into something new now…

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I have been felting little pods these past few days: A temporary departure from headdresses, and a bit of light relief.

The pods are shown suspended in the side window of OWL (a collective of six artists and makers) where my work is permanently on display. If you happen to be in the area, pop in to say hello!

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Fresh of the proverbial press: The latest issue of UK Handmade magazine (winter 2013) includes a feature article on my felt work. Easy to download & free to read

UK Handmade is a design-led online magazine committed to showcasing and promoting the best creative talent the UK has to offer.

Fore more information www.ukhandmade.co.uk

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Finding myself home alone for a weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to finally make some more dye bundles.

Since attending Fabienne Dorsman-Rey’s eco-printing workshop in the New Forest last month I haven’t had much time to practice all that I’ve learned, so it was with much joy that I set to.

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