WHAT IS FELTING?
Sarah uses a technique called Wet Felting. It is a time consuming process which requires experience, patience and skill to get right. The technique involves laying out the fibres which are then transformed and bonded together by a labour intensive process involving soap ,water and rolling.
It is a process that has been used for centuries and utilises the unique characteristic of wool fleeces to change under pressure, hot water and friction. Sarah has perfected her own technique over the years and added features such as stitching which compliments and enhances the work.
THE LAYING OUT
The work is built up layer by layer. Colour is achieved by using different fleeceswhich are sometimes mixed together to create new colours just as on an artist's palate. A piece can be up to 10 cms thick which creates a richness and texture to the finished work. A tranquil space is required as a strong wind or a sneeze can destroy days of work.
This is a process that has not changed for over a thousand years. The fleece is rolled up and soaked in hot water and rolled. The combination of shrinking and pressure makes the fleeces blend together permanently. This part of the process requires patience, skill and strength.
Whilst the piece is drying it can be pulled and and teased into shape. Once dry it can then be stitched to create further texture and detail.