To finish off what has been a stunning year of guest artists we have the very colourful and talented Suzy Shackleton in her own words Suzy describes below her inspirations and techniques for her unique felt pieces.
I’m a felt artist and I make contemporary vibrant wall hangings using traditional felt making techniques. I combine old with modern by using ancient felting methods to create illustrative and quirky designs.
I regard my felts as paintings, with the wool fibres representing my pallet. Each piece is hand rolled and wet felted using inlays, mosaics and needle felting. Layering the gossamer thin merino wool I gradually build up depth and tone.
What inspires me - is difficult to say, there is so much….Living and working from my studio in the Peak District (Rainow) the stunning views provide me with daily inspiration but I also love the exciting textures of the wool and creating bold designs. However if I was to pick one thing, it would be colour…
Felt making has become my passion. I learnt about felt making at art college and never looked back, I was hooked…I love the rich colours of the wool, it’s tactile qualities and the whole process of rolling and creating the felt.
I think I was destined to be a felt artist - my nan was a milliner making felt hats for the wealthy and I was born in Stockport, a few miles from the hat museum, which used to be the main felting region in the country with more than 30 factories churning out felt hats to meet demand.
The best advice I have ever been given about art is don’t care what anyone thinks! Very difficult in practice but very good advice…
Three artists who are inspirational to me are Anita Klein, Hundertwasser and the children’s illustrator Eric Carle.
Most inspirational place is where I live - the peak District. Going for local walks with my dog (Inga) is the best way to fuel creativity
Definitely my practice has changed over time and it’s great to revisit old themes but with new and more advanced techniques. I think it is essential to move forward and constantly challenge yourself. Sometimes the techniques don’t work or look good but that’s just as useful to know.
Had lots of memorable responses but the main ones are when I do special commissions for clients and they are visibly moved. It’s fantastic knowing a piece I’ve created has such a wonderful effect - makes it absolutely worth all the hard work.
To find out more about Suzy read here: http://www.suzyshackleton.com/
The gallery is open Tues - Sat 10 -5pm and Sundays 11- 4pm
Don't forget our late night shopping on December 5th till 8pm!