Today we welcome back Karen Rao who will once again be running her popular felt workshop at our Patcham fair on November 15th.
Please introduce yourself and your brand…..
My name is Karen Rao and I am a felt artist. I create wearable art using just wool, soap and water! At The Patcham Fair I’ll be holding a Magnetic felt making workshop – felted magnets! This is a fun, easy to follow, drop in event suitable for all ages (not just for kids!) It’s a great way to learn a new skill if you haven’t tried your hand at felt making before, or if you have, its a good chance to felt a new project!
Tell us a bit about your creations and how you make them….
I create animal inspired hats ranging from Tabby Cats, Husky Dogs and Golden Horned Minotaurs! Carefully blended wools and animal fibres are hand felted resulting in headwear in highly realistic colours and textures. These will be available for you to see and buy at the fair!
I use the ancient technique of wet felting which has been in existence for 8000 years! Soap and hot water is used to open up the wool fibres, the abrasive action of rubbing with bubble wrap cause the fibres to mesh together to create felt!
How long have you been making your creations?
I fell in to felt making about 6 years ago just by chance after attending a children’s workshop with my kids. Together we created a large scale wall hanging, soon multiplying to a living room full of dramatic seascapes!
Do you have a best seller or most popular item?
This year my Cat Inspired Hats are really popular especially the Tabbys and the Sphnx cats. My hair clip ears have been very popular this Halloween.
What do you enjoy most about your craft/ work?
Felt making is so versatile that it can almost lead you to new directions! My work is constantly evolving as I find new inspirations and new techniques! Felt can be wall art, it can be worn or it can be a sculptural object – it’s uses are limitless,so too is the learning process which makes the nature of felt making so unexpected and so rewarding. I’ll be bringing my workshop “The Wet felting Experience’ to The Fairy Tale Fair. I really enjoy showing people the ancient wet felting process and seeing their fascination as their pile of wool transforms into a felted work of art to take home.
What are your plans or ambitions for the future, or have you already achieved them?
I’m afraid I don’t have a 5 year plan. In a very unbusiness like manner – I create and see what happens. Sometimes i receive a commission which pushes me into an unexpected direction, or a chance conversation opens up new possibilities. I’d like to continue creating and for people to continue appreciating my work: reaching new people in new places.