I will be at the Greyfriars Church Hall (corner of 182 Iffley Road and Jackdaw Lane) with a group of artists friends. There will be lots of different art forms to look at, from ceramics and linocut to watercolours, painting and jewellery, as well as refreshments from Silvie's cafe. I will have some wool tops as examples of the different breeds of sheep, and will do small-scale demonstrations of how wetfelting works.
The main driver for my creations is how I relate to the materials I use, and how the materials react to my input. Having worked daily with a musical instrument as a professional musician for decades, I always saw it not so much as a tool, but a part of me that has its own will (and limitations). It taught me how relating to my surroundings (material, people, time) - a constant give and take - can yield a lot of satisfying returns and how to be more accepting of myself and others. With my craft/art, I initially worked with reactive paints and resins, but got too worried about the environmental impact of these materials. A fascination for texture and unpredictability of materials brought me via fluid art to working more and more with wool. Wetfelting - the process of agitating wool fibres with water, soap and muscle power - can be used to create perfect smooth sculptures or well-fitting slippers, but I am more interested in letting the fibres do their own thing, within the parameters that I set. Making felted lamps or lampshades that are semi-transparent is a perfect example of what I am trying to achieve: the fibres' own direction and energy show up best when lit from one side and the effect of giving the material the space it needs to come alive within a given form can be quite magical and surprising at times.