Kate Horner - ArtyBird Carnforth

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Kate Horner

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I love felt and the freedom it brings to my work. I am eclectic, drawing together many textile areas and felt is the vehicle that enables me to express my ideas. In my Master's Degree I pioneered printing on felt, for which I was awarded a distinction. My other passion is teaching and I am able to support my students as they open up their minds to the potential of felt. The work they create is individual and of a professional standard, which City & Guilds has recognized by awarding us a Medal for Excellence for the second year running.


My work starts with drawing and I have realised that I continue to do this through the making process. My textile pieces are built up with layers of drawing, focusing on the different design elements. If I focus on colour first then I am seduced and it dominates; so I start from other elements. I apply colour last, which is nerve racking and exciting at the same time.

Printing gives me my own palette and I apply the dye using a thickener. I create exciting surfaces using fibres, threads and fabrics within my felt. I was limited to dyeing either: plant fibres and silk, or animal fibres and silk, in any process using chemical dyes. Although this was limiting I used it to great effect and "Skins" was the result.

"Thanking You Muchly" uses local wools; the background us a mule that is a reluctant felter and the mid ground is local Saxony merino in natural shades. The foreground is home dyed Saxony merino to develop the irises. When the merino is fully felted the mule is still bouncy, setting up tensions within the piece giving the effect of marble.

The figurative piece is the culmination of 2.5 years work. I was challenged by my students to use my life drawings in my felt work and I found this so hard. These drawings are of the moment and any pieces developing these had to be in the same vein. The break through was finding mordants I could use allowing me to print on all natural fibres and the Botanic Liquid natural dyes that includes indigo!! The piece, based on a one-minute pose, includes five layers of processes, each approached as a drawing in its moment. I can now express any of my drawings, from simple poses to complex digital images, in my felt.

Contact details: katehornerabc@gmail.com
01524 874306
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