My mother taught me to knit before I started school and in my very first piece (a scarf for my teddy bear) I showed a remarkable aptitude for several quite advanced techniques (for a four year old!) – increasing, decreasing, slip stitches, random lace…. This was the start of a lifelong love of all things woolly. I soon learned even more knitting skills and even how to control them! In my twenties I learnt the rudiments of spinning and weaving. Time passes. Fleece gets spun, jumpers get knitted , scarves get woven, needlepoint and cross stitch get cross and pointed, more jumpers get knitted. (Tumbleweed moment) And then….. I found felt!! Why hadn’t anyone told me about it before? I was completely smitten from day one. I loved everything about it – the texture, the history, the versatility, and above all, the possibilities. Wet-felting is hands-on, messy, physical, without rules and I love it. The results are tactile, textural, soft, warm and beautiful. I took my first piece of felt to show an ageing aunt, whose response was “What use is it – what’s the point?”. Since then I have tried to take William Morris’s advice and create only things that I “know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Of course, the ultimate is to create things that are both.

Felting gives me freedom and options that I have never found in any other medium.  In my jewellery it is combined with stones, buttons and beads to create a textural feast.  I spin silk to make stems for the flowers and jewel-bright braids for my coats and necklaces.  Throughout history felt has been both functional and decorative, keeping warmth in and cold at bay:  in my coats I am simply continuing this ancient tradition.

Felt yurts have a decorative inner wall felt to add an extra layer of insulation and, even though we are lucky enough to live in warmer climes, I hope that an echo of this may be seen in my wall panels.