Monday, 15 January 2018

Meet Our Members Feature - Angela Truman Feltmaker

Angie is co-director of the Mirva Gallery Collective and a driving force behind many of the ideas and exhibitions that our members offer.
We asked Angie to describe herself and process, and she says this:
"I am a maker.
I have been occupied by creating with my hands since I was a young child.
I found, then and still to this day, high value in the focus, patience, and dexterous control involved in manipulating physical materials.
Ever since my mother taught me to knit at a young age, I have loved working with wool. Still an avid knitter today and admirer of all things "wool", I began to look deeper into the wonders of this wonderful natural product. In 2009, an unexpected wave of redundancies in the company where I was employed gave me the opportunity to spend time with my children. a friend offered me some sheep fleeces and after I worked out how to process them, I began to look at ways to put them to use. Wet felting has become my daily passion. I continue to study various types of sheep's wool and the wonderful fiber that these varieties produce.
Felting is also a fabulous contemporary art form that has many practical and modern applications. Whilst it is quite simple to learn, mastering the medium can become a wonderful journey. I obsess about new techniques and processes. Felt continues to inspire me with its duality, both its simplicity and its complexity. It is this amazing alchemical process and is also this beautiful simple combining of material.
For me it is creative, vibrant, fun, and challenging. It is a very simple process, yet its applications can be as complex as I desire.
I gain inspiration first and foremost from all of my experiences in life, inspiration from the beautiful rural setting I live in and the natural world that surrounds me. I love shape and form and texture. My inspiration comes from the collaboration of many elements: raw organic materials, historic process and the natural world. It is my passion to take the ancient art form of feltmaking and blend it with a modern aesthetic to create textiles that straddle the boundary between art and craftsmanship.

It is wonderful to be able to now pass this skill on through my teaching and workshops. I enjoy encouraging others to explore their individual creativity. I am convinced that we all are incredibly artistic and creative-we just need self belief and practice. I am also interested in the possibility of simplifying the process and using alternative equipment to make the process more accessible, such as foot rolling, using a sander or a tumble dryer for example.
My current interests are to further explore the contrast between the lightness of the muslin I use as a scarf base, and the deeper, heavier texture of the wool I felt into it. I am currently planning a series of panels which use this attribute in such a way that the finished panel can be hung over a window to create almost a stained glass effect. I love to take a medium which is often thought of as indelicate and stiff, and produce delicate pieces which play with the light."

Angie's beautiful work is sold through the Mirva Gallery in St Ives, open year-round and also at numerous events across Cornwall. She also offers a selection of popular workshops with the Mirva Collective sharing her passion for felt making and inspiring others to create in new ways.

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