Felt making & dyeing – Bailey Curtis

BC May 22Tree hanging

Felt making & dyeing – Bailey Curtis

Bailey Curtis, our May speaker, has studied many skills over the years but two stand out, felt making and dyeing.  She first saw felt at the Chelsea Craft Fair and in the 1980’s went on to teach art and technology at Gloucester College.  She has been making felt for over 20 years and is a member of the International Feltmakers Association and the South West Textile Group.

Bailey arrived with a wonderful collection of her felt hangings and her amazing sketchbooks.  It was fascinating to hear where she has got her inspiration from over the years.   Visits to Powis Castle, Bodnant Gardens, flooding near the River Seven and the Crosby Iron men on the beach have all been used in her designs.  In 2015 Bailey had a residency in Cornwall and created a hanging based on the sea and the port of Newlyn also gave her ideas.

Bailey explained she loves using fleece from local sheep and the breed, Ile de France is a particular favourite.  She creates her felt using the natural wool and backs it with white cotton and then dyes it using both acid and Omega hot dyes.  She scrunches it up and dips it in the dye so the results are totally serendipity. 

Poetry and text have become important  in Bailey’s recent work and she has used Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare and her own words to create hangings which are often displayed outside. 

During lockdown Bailey experimented with eco dyeing and she brought along some books for sale together with postcards of her work.

You will find out more about Bailey on the following websites:

Breeze Art & Makers Fair:  https://breezefair.org/exhibitor/bailey-curtis/

2015 Residency in Cornwall:  https://brisonsveor.org.uk/bailey-curtis/

World textiles weekend:  https://www.textilefairs.co.uk/

Report by Ros

Photos thanks to Bailey and some taken at meeting by Ros

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