These unique, beautiful, soft and very lightweight, wearable art pieces are individually handmade with love, using superfine Australian Merino wool, hand dyed silk fabric and silk fibre, combined with select pieces of upcycled fabrics (from op shop clothing).
The creation of these wearables brings together many of my lifetime loves…fabrics and textiles, wool and fibre, organic and tactile ‘hands on’ process, photography (capturing my inspiration for use on labels), painting and drawing (line, colour and texture), my long interest in the effect of colour, line and space on the human psyche and my absolute fascination with the colours and textures of the Australian environment. These wearable art pieces are a 3 dimensional extension of my decades of painting.
Commissions are welcome.
My journey to **Nuno Felting…
In January 2017 while holidaying with my sister at her home in Far North Queensland, she taught me the ancient technique of *felting. At the time I wondered whether I really needed any more ‘strings to my bow’…as I was well aware how easily I could become the proverbial ‘jack of all trades’.
Over the previous couple of years, I had become tired of/frustrated with the flat painted surface and was wanting something that could carry my expression into another realm.
[Due to some health changes in the previous year, I had decided to discontinue oil painting (with its smelly and toxic solvents and mediums) and instead had rejuvenated my love of watercolours, after a 25 year break!]
When I returned home from my sister, I was full of energy. I undertook a complete cleanout and reorganization of my studio, creating a new space for watercolours and felting!
I was excited by the possibility of creating beautiful, lightweight wearable art pieces.
I spent hours/days researching nuno felting and put together folders of notes for my future reference. Then into the studio I went, ’felting’ every day for weeks, testing and retesting.
Although, from the outset, I was only interested in creating, very lightweight, wearable pieces – scarves, wraps, shawls etc. …at this stage I explored as many different surface manipulation techniques as possible.
I was completely transfixed by the wet felting process – the magical transformation of raw, loose fibre and pieces of fabric into a completely new identity. I was also immensely excited by the potential of the transparent aspects of Nuno Felting.
Rather than being another ‘string to my bow’, I began to see how the felting process was the actual bow (and the very piece that I had been looking for) i.e. the wood that holds all the strings together, which then makes beautiful music possible!
By teaching me the felting process, my sister had (unknowingly) provided the ‘missing link’, an avenue of expression which brought together many of my lifelong loves.
*Felting is an ancient technique for creating cloth, using loose animal fibre, usually wool. Agitation of wool fibre with soap and water, causes the wool fibres to lock together and this creates a ‘cloth’. It is the oldest fabric in history. [There is no sewing in this process.]
**Nuno Felting is a relatively new fabric felting technique developed by Polly Stirling, an Australian fibre artist, in 1992. The name is derived from the Japanese word ‘nuno’, meaning ‘cloth’. The technique involves ‘felting’ loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer (or open weave) fabric e.g. silk gauze, creating a very soft, lightweight, drapable felt…ideal for the Australian climate.
I began making brooches as an accessory to my nuno-felt scarves and wraps (in response to a request by a patron who bought one of my wraps).
As with all my work, the brooches are inspired by the Australian landscape – its colours, textures, patterns and play of light.
These velvety smooth, tactile, organically shaped, landscape-like ‘stones’, engage the senses, evoke memory and encourage connection with a larger experience of life…a place been, something seen, a piece of yesterday, something washed ashore, worn by time, found on a walk and taken home.
[Brooches are made of polymer clay, 4mm thick, size approx. 3-4cm x 3-4cm.]