Meet the Makers – Talking Textile Art

As a member of The British Craft House, I love being a part of the community of friendly artisans who are always able to offer advice and support in the optional, central hub. Working from home can sometimes be a little isolating, so it’s always good to have a friendly ear. We often share each other’s work and the appreciation for makers with a similar craft to one’s own is often evident. Many of us follow each other on social media and there are many collaborations that take place as a result of this supportive environment. Naturally, amongst others, I love to chat to the textile artists and we often say how lovely it would be to meet up.  

 

So it was, that last weekend, on my way down through Cornwall for a holiday, that I popped into ‘Wooly Weekend’ at Kelly House near Launceston and finally met up with the lovely Buffy, aka The Twisted Felter, who was exhibiting there. We’ve chatted online for almost two years but never managed to meet before. 

When I arrived, she was more than a little surprised to see me! Truth be known, as Buffy wasn’t expecting me, she didn’t recognise me until I took off my mask! Her face was an absolute picture! 

Buffy is a wool artist, living in the beautiful Tamar Valley in Cornwall. Like me, she is inspired by nature and particularly British wild animals such as badgers, hares and foxes. Often her fibre sculptures find themselves with a quirky sense of humour and an eccentric personality all of their own! Her work is beautifully executed and I have great admiration for her skill and attention to detail.

 

Buffy’s stall was beautifully set up, with a full range of her fibre art, including some of her more recently woven wall hangings, just added to her British Craft House shop. I am fascinated by weaving, so it was great to see the mix of textures and fibres Buffy incorporates into her work and to talk about the small loom that she uses. I had to admit to her that whilst I would love to have a loom, I simply haven’t got room for anything more! 

 

For me, the added excitement of meeting Buffy, was to see her wonderful range of hand carded and hand dyed fibres, many of which come from her own little flock of Teeswater sheep. I have loved following Buffy’s journey, becoming shepherdess to her own flock. As a textile artist, it’s wonderful to know the provenance of the materials you are working with and I confess, I may just have done a little bit of shopping! Buffy’s Teeswater sheep have the most amazing curly locks and I am looking forward to using them to create lots of texture in my own original textile art. I chose a bundle of wonderfully long and very soft, grey locks to take home and, after a few days away at the coast, the beautiful carded art batts I selected will be perfect for capturing the coastal landscape that no doubt inspired their creation in the first place.

Hand-Carded-Fibre-Art-Batts
Hand Dyed and Carded Fibres

Over the last twelve months, I have begun dyeing some of my own fabrics and fibres too, encouraged and inspired by Buffy and the little videos she often posts. Buffy expressed an interest in the eco printing that I have been exploring and use to print onto silk and wool, often made into scarves.  She would like to give it a try for herself, when she has some spare time! This was a great opportunity for us to compare notes on the types of dyes we use, and to exchange ideas about the nature of the fibres and their suitability for various textile techniques. I am more than a little envious of Buffy’s carding machine and am secretly hoping that one day I might be able to pop along to see it for myself! 

 

I was only at Kelly House for about an hour and a half but the visit to see Buffy was an absolute joy. The tea and cake were also pretty fabulous! 

 

Later in the week, I met up with Sarah, a wonderful weaver and maker from The Lizard area of Cornwall. Sarah owns Godrevy Textiles and also sells on The British Craft House. You can find out all about our afternoon at the beach here.

 

P. S. If you would like to I see what I create with my newly acquired fibres, do keep an eye out in my British Craft House shop and follow me on social media. All the links can be found here.

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2 thoughts on “Meet the Makers – Talking Textile Art

  1. Oh so wonderful to read about your meet up with the ever so talented Buffy. So many ideas must be swirling in your head! It was amazing to get to meet with you myself and I came away encouraged and inspired. Thank you ♥️.

    1. Thank you! Lovely to meet you, what a fun afternoon we had exchanging ideas and sharing our love of textiles. Loved reading all about us in your blog too! 🙂

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