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Featured Artist - Karen Wyeth

Karen is a contemporary felt artist working in the Midlands and her Strictly Come Dancing piece, made with World of Wool products, is being featured in the Radio Times, how exciting!

Karen was born in Kent and grew up drawing and painting, sewing and making things. In the 1980s she attended Christ Church University College in Canterbury where she studied Fine Art and Literature. After leaving University she soon found it was not easy to make ends meet as an artist, so for practical reasons she moved to London and took an office job.  

She found herself working in similar roles for the next 20 years, life took over and art fell by the wayside. In the early 2000s ill health intervened and Karen was forced to take time out to recover her health. During this time she found myself returning to her creative roots regained her love of art.

During this period I discovered the medium of felted merino wool which set my creativity alight.  I was astounded to discover that felted merino could be used in a similar way to that as a painter I had previously used brushstrokes.  I discovered that creating textile pictures combined my love of painting and drawing with sewing and making things that I had growing up. The wide spectrum of colours of merino wool and how it can be used to create rich vibrant artworks with luminous colour and light also appealed to my lifelong passion for colour.

In her pictures, Karen uses a combination of traditional wet felting, needle felting, free machine embroidery and hand embroidery.  The main fibre used is merino wool tops, but also includes Angelina fibres, mulberry silk noil, mulberry silk, wool nepps and bamboo tops to give added shine, sparkle and texture.

Karen works from life experiences and her extensive collection of photographs that she has taken along the way.  The main inspiration for her work is colour and light, her ethos is to offer people ‘art to make their lives bigger, better and brighter, something to take their minds off their troubles in life’ (Alfred East 1911).

Karen produces a range of Fine Art Giclee prints from her work, which have been described as ‘so detailed that you can almost feel the texture of the original piece!’ (Hayrack Gallery).

Q&A

What do you enjoy most about your craft?: I really enjoy bringing together my interest of making things with my love of art.

What is your favourite fibre?: I have a bag of mulberry silk in turquoise which I just love as it glows!

What is your favourite breed of sheep?: It would have to be the Merino as I love its wool and links with Australia, which is a country I love!

What do you like most about the company?: The very inspiring range of fibres and the wide spectrum of colours of the merino wool tops.

Karen’s website is www.karenwyeth.co.uk  

Facebook: @KarenWyethFeltArtist

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