I discovered the joys of felt-making many years ago and am still excited by the magical process of turning fleece into felt. There is an alchemical quality to the procedure that never ceases to amaze and delight the maker. It is at once primal and contemporary.
The basic felt-making process begins with a mound of loose wool fibres; a little soap and water is added, pressure is applied and the transformation begins. As the fibres mat together, the resulting fabric is vigorously worked to strengthen and shrink it.
This process is deceptively simple yet has infinite possibilities. It is a very versatile medium and always contains an element of surprise!
In my work I use mostly Merino wool and include various natural fibres such as silk, bamboo and soya, which I hand dye. After carding the wool I love to ‘paint’ with it, building up layers of wool to create a rich depth of jewel like colours. I frequently incorporate spun yarn for definition and silk fabrics for a contrasting surface texture.
Much of my inspiration comes from the Cambrian Mountains and the farmland surrounding my home in the hills. My rambling garden here in West Wales also feeds my passion for creativity. I hope a certain spirit of place is reflected in my work.
I thoroughly enjoy making my work and I hope you enjoy viewing it!
Ali is a member of The International Feltmakers Association.