Inspired by nature and animals, my work seeks to capture the personality and life of the animal. Traditional and modern taxidermy provide the initial inspiration for many of my pieces, but my work then focuses on the form and textures and the emotions these evoke within us, rather than realism or strict anatomical accuracy.
Using natural wools and fibres creates a unique palette of colours that stretches across my work. This palette enables me to extend into other areas including my more recent studies of the human figure, whilst maintaining a collective range of work. Wool is a relatively new sculpture medium and I enjoy exploring what is possible with it and how I can use it to create sculptures that connect with the audience both visually and emotionally.
I also enjoy creating detailed patterned line drawings and will be adding some examples to the website soon.
As well as making my sculptures, I run a busy craft kit design company called Hawthorn Handmade. I have also recently begun to offer a creative business mentoring service and to give talks at creative conferences and networking groups so I'm nothing if not busy!
What is Needle Felting?
Needle felting uses barbed needles that, when ‘stabbed’ into loose wool and fibres, catch on the fibres and matt them together. The more you stab, the more they bond and form a solid piece of felt. I use this technique to then sculpt wool into 3D forms. It works somewhat like clay, working up and out, adding pieces and smoothing over joints as you go. Most of my pieces are solid wool with no ‘form’ underneath, and only the occasional piece of wire to give stability.
Where Can I Find out More?
My other business, Hawthorn Handmade, offers lots of information on needle felting including my kits to try at home and a series of tutorial videos. I also teach a number of workshops throughout the year in and around Dorset. Visit the events page for upcoming dates.