being the inquisitive little feltmaker that i am, i thought it might be interesting to hear about other maker's stories. if you would like to be featured, please leave me a comment and i'll get in touch with some questions for you.
so, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and lets meet angela barrow ...
Please introduce yourself
… aargh - hate this - Angela, feltmaker, mother, wife and general dogsbody.
How would you describe your work / style?
I get very bored if I have to repeat the same thing so I'm always trying something new but I can say that I do love colour and texture in everything I do.
Who, or what, inspires you?
Definitely nature, sometimes the colour of a flower, sometimes the texture of bark. I like details to be blown up until you can no longer tell what the original was. Oh, and I also like stylised art - art nouveau, folk art, 1950s, celtic artwork and artists like Gaudi.
What helped you decide to start selling your work?
I don't want to conquer the world but I do want and need my art to pay for itself and some bills. I'm not very good at going out and selling it though so this tends to be my weak point.
Where can I buy your work?
At Cakewalk - www.cakewalkvintage.co.uk, a handmade and vintage shop and Weaverbird Workshop - www.weaverbirdworkshop.co.uk, both in Ilkley but stocking different work and on my website - www.angelabarrow.co.uk, where you can also find my blog.
How did you learn your craft and how long have you been creating?
Gosh - I started creating at my Grandma's knee at a very early age. Gran taught me to knit, crochet and sew but feltmaking I discovered about ten years ago and haven't looked back since. I took a city and guilds course and have done lots of practice - I find feltmaking utterly addictive.
Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
Lots - I'd like to be better at photography (especially black & white), basketry, wood carving, copper beating (looking for a course if anyone knows of one) and I'd like to learn more about geology. I may need a time machine to manage all these.
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be … nuts.
I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for … My extremely supportive husband who puts up with mess everywhere, builds my website, takes my photos and copes with me.
Describe your perfect day.
Cold, sunny, a walk on a beach, lunch in a cafe and the rest of the day crafting. TV, wine and crafting in the evening followed by a good book and a cuddle with a warm husband.
What do you do to relax?
Craft and gardening plus walks when I can convince my teenager she won't die from a little exercise.
Marmite … love it or hate it?
Sorry - I'm a vegemite girl.
What animal would you be, and why?
A tiger, they're majestic, beautiful and deadly plus of course they gets to sleep lots.
Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
I have submitted images for a couple of books but they haven't been accepted. My work has been featured in Felt Matters, the magazine of the International Feltmakers Association plus I've been in Art trails and the Bradford Open competition. I'm currently exhibiting in a group exhibition at Manningham Mills in Bradford.
Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
Sadly not but I live in hope.
What’s your weakness?
I can't resist chocolate, walking on the grass when told not to and touching when asked not to.
How do you keep motivated?
I'm addicted so motivation never seems to be a problem. Stopping me seems to be harder and I absolutely have to take crafts on holiday with me or I don't know what to do with myself.
Anything exciting planned for 2010 you’d like to share?
I'm starting to make all my own work in British wools. Britain has a wide variety of sheep breeds and we don't use enough of them. I love the different finishes and textures they can give you and want to share that with others.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Have a go, what's the worst that can happen? Have a little faith in yourself and you'll be surprised at what you achieve.
thanks for taking the time to chat angela and for a really interesting interview. i totally understand where you're coming from with the compulsion to walk right all over the grass when there's signs telling you not to ... and the ones that tell you not to touch are always on the most touchable of things!