Tell us/ remind us a bit about you and what you do/ make….
My name is Karen Rao and I am a felt artist. I create wearable art using just wool, soap and water!
How long have you been making your craft items?
I fell in to felt making about 5 years ago just by chance after attending a children’s workshop with my kids. Together we created a large scale wall hanging. After multiplying to a living room full of dramatic seascapes, I turned to animal wall art, floral corsages, felted rocks …… then hats. This is where I am now, animal eared hats with blends of different colours and fibres. These result in hats that are realistically rich in texture and depth.
Do you have a best seller? If so what is it?
I sell at craft fairs and my easy shop: http://karenrao.etsy.com. The husky hat and my cat hats are popular, especially the black cat hat. Recently one was snapped up by celebrity Hollywood tattoo artist Kat Von D!
What do you enjoy most about your craft?
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. I enjoy showing people the ancient wet felting process and seeing their fascination as they rub the wool with soap and water, resulting in their very own work of art to take home.
Will you have some special Spring time Easter creations for sale?
I’m always striving to come up with new ideas for the wet felting workshops! This time we will be felting our own ‘Magic Eggs’ This is suitable for all ages. We will use very soft and highly coloured Merino Wool with lots of soapy water. You’ll just have to come along to find out more!
Do you take part in other craft events (fairs, open houses, markets etc…)?
You can see me in many craft fairs around Brighton including:
May Open Houses:
The Cicada House and Teresa Winchester, both on The Fiveways trail
What are your plans/ ambitions for the future? Or have you already achieved them?
My plans are to keep creating, raising my profile and to make accessories that people really love to wear. I’m sure I wrote this last time but I’d like to set up my own regular workshops. I’ll be collecting information from potential participants, so please give me a nudge.