MAKER SPOTLIGHT: Colour in Felt by Janice Hutchinson

MAKER SPOTLIGHT: Colour in Felt by Janice Hutchinson
Lara Pollard-Jones

Janice lives North East England with her husband of 36 years. She sells her work in both Durham and Northumberland, where she takes her inspiration from the beautiful countryside. She loves pastures with sheep; meadows, flowers, bees and seascapes with blue skies. To create her pieces, she incorporates wet felting and hand embroidery and calls it ‘Painting with Wool’. 

 

When did you start your craft?

At an early age my mother and grandmother taught me how to embroider. This helped me during particularly long spells of ill health and helped with my recovery. I studied the holistic therapy of Chakra balancing, floristry and photography which all led me to exploration of colour. In 2016 after being housebound for a year I found a needle felting course and was mesmerised by the wool. I am sure it helped me back to recovery.

I made a few little pictures and then decided to ‘marry' felting and embroidery. It was only when I met my wet felting tutor that I fell in love with wet felting and its possibilities. I am now studying eco botanical printing which I will add to my felting work.

 

What do you like best about it?

My favourite part of wet felting is my layout. I call this part ‘playing’. I have a drum carder which helps me blend together my coloured wool and silk fibres. I randomly pick colour and pieces of silk and often just drop them randomly in to my layout, It’s very exciting to see the piece of felt when its dry as no two pieces are ever the same. 

 

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

Although I have made felted scarves and handbags I always come back to my pictures. Occasionally I get to create abstract work. However, my customers love my pastures, flowers and seascapes. I love creating sky and clouds.

 

What are your preferred products to use?

That’s a hard choice as I love the fine Merino wool. I do love the speciality fibres. I use sari silk Wildflower and Sari silk Honeycomb a lot. I also use a lot of degummed silk cocoons.

 

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to take up your craft?

I always use white Merino for my base layer is cheaper. Invest in a drum carder to blend your wool and silk. My carder is called Betty and she is my favourite piece of equipment. Learn to play with colour and don’t be afraid of it.

 

What's your favourite thing about World of Wool? 

(As usual, we're not going to apologise for this leading question! :P)

Positive- Range of products, colour choice, easy ordering and prompt delivery. The joy of opening every WOW box is pure happiness.

Negative- I want to buy everything and never stick to my budget!  I have no more room in my craft room and have migrated to most other rooms in my home.

 

You can find Janice online on her Facebook page here and her website and shop here

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