I have been making felt for over twenty five years and continue to be fascinated by the integrity and qualities of working dynamically with sheeps fleece to create 2D and 3D felted fleece.
I first learnt how to make felt whilst Exhibitions Officer, curating exhibitions and initiating workshops; I was amazed at the possibilities of making fabric from such a luscious, richly textured and tactile primary source. After much practice at the kitchen table, I went onto to learnt to make felt from master feltmaker Shiela Smith in the North of England , Nuno felting with Polly Stirling in her studio in the Bush in Nimbin, NSW, Australia, and international felters in Hungary and Turkey. Supported by travel awards from the Arts Council and British Council and I developed my own ongoing studio practice as a member of the International Feltmakers Association (IFA). I have held Open Studios annually, for over twelve years as part of Insight Open Studios,North Lincolnshire. Exhibited in Hungary, Norway, Russia, Germany , Italy and extensively in galleries in the UK , including Fantastic Wearables and Crowning Glory with IFA now I teach a wide range of felting techniques and master classes in the UK and abroad.
My felt is a range of wearables, art hangings, accessories, puppets and garden birds. I am based around the River Humber in North Lincolnshire and many years of observation of this great tidal expanse and vast flat rural stretches below an uninterrupted sky has influenced the tones and colours in my felts. I mostly use the traditional handrolling felting techniques to try to capture the movement , intense tones and imagination of this power river and earthy landscape with delicate wisps of soft sheep’s wool , incorporating my hand dyed silks, nuno and resist techniques.
More recently I have explored and created a collection of Garden Birds, capture their exquisite expressions and colours using needle felting and hand blending of mostly English wools.
Currently I am creating nuno shift dresses for everyday wear and sharing and teaching this method.
Vivienne Morpeth, 2016