Alex’s Art@Auburn profile

ALEX CLELAND

Felt maker

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Alex works with superfine Australian Merino wool and quality silk fibres and fabrics to create beautiful and unique hand dyed felted items to wear and enjoy.

For her 40th Birthday Alex spent a weekend in Hobart. She had always been drawn to wool felt and found it to be featured in the Salamanca markets and surrounding galleries. She decided to buy herself something felted and quested after just the thing. Sadly it eluded her. While she saw many attractive and inspiring pieces, nothing was quite her thing. Disappointed she returned home and turned to google!

Learning to felt was a revelation. Alex began creating scarves for herself and as gifts for friends and family. She enjoyed the process immensely and loved discovering the results of using different fibres and techniques. Soon she was making slippers, hand warmers, felted soaps, cushions, lampshades, tea cosies, hats, bags, garments, jewellery….The hobby was becoming a bit of an obsession.

After five years of felting for fun and submitting the occasional piece to the Burra Regional Art Gallery, Alex decided to give country markets a go. People were always asking where she got her scarves and selling a few allowed her to invest in more fibres. She enjoyed meeting people and talking about her work and it gave her a great boost.

So far entirely self/Google taught, in 2015, while on family holiday in England, Alex attended a course on dyeing fibres. This opened up a whole new world of creativity and enabled her to concentrate on sourcing the finest fibres and work on her own colour ways. She also made a great friendship and was inspired to create a permanent work space in her home where previously she had set up temporary chaos in the kitchen. She now has a “Wool Room”!

The experience of meeting other creative people, learning from them and inspiring one and other was so positive. Alex looks forward more of this as a member of Art @ Auburn.