I have been making felt since 1992. It still holds the same hidden magic for me as it did when I was first introduced to it whilst studying City and Guilds patchwork and quilting.
My interest in textiles began at an early age, I would beg scraps of material from my grand mother a professional tailoress, to make dolls clothes.
The inspiration for my work comes from my everyday surroundings. The changing landscape, flowers and the patterns created in old patchwork quilts. My pictures are made by building up layers of fleece which I sometimes mix with silk fibres, I hand card thoroughly to create a variety of colours,textures and shades.
I cut back through the layers of felt to reveal hidden colours beneath giving the work a 3D effect. All my pieces are hand rolled using Merino and Blue Faced Leicester wool. I hand dye the fleece, this provides me with a rich pallet of colour to work with. I also add dyed silk and muslin fabric to my work, this alters the appearence of the felt.
After a wonderful visit to Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2001, I was privileged to work with some very experienced feltmakers in their traditional ways. I now adapt their way of feltmaking to suit my needs.
My feltmaking travels have taken me to Uzbekastan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Turkey,Holland, Spain and Italy, where I have met some amazing feltmakers both contemporary and traditional. I hope to continue my journey into the fascinating world of felt.
Debbie with Harold the life size Herdwick sheep at the Ian Lawson exhibition visited by HRH Prince Charles 2015