I turned to wool in 2005 to create sculptured textiles and wearable art. Through experimentation I discovered that wool, with its pliability and saturated palette, is similar to other fine art mediums like paint and clay.
I make each piece by applying wool as painterly strokes and fields of color to create a thick bed of fiber. Wetting this matrix with hot soapy water, I mesh the fibers together by rolling and hand-working them in a process similar to sculpting with clay. There is a moment in the felting process, as the fibers are binding and shrinking, when the colors are the most intense, the lines are gestural, and the strokes seem fluid. In that precise and brief moment before the wool becomes densely matted, the material has the lush, saturated quality of paint.
Felt-making is an almost-alchemical process with a will of its own, prone to many moments of chance and distortion that can add depth by subverting the intended design. The dialogue between the medium and myself results in a playful resolution.
I paint lines and shapes as a final layer on the felted ground to add dynamic movement and unify my overall compositions. The geometric patterns, architectural forms, and typographic motifs I use in this series are reminiscent of childhood games. My intention with this work is to restore the viewer to a child-like state of play and wonder.