Leslie Horan Simon
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I make two kinds of felt. The first is a textural felt made by washing knitted fabric made from my own hand-spun that I combine with carefully chosen commercial yarns.
The second is a dry felt using a needle felting technique. In this process, I use a notched needle, hand cards, and sometimes a drum carder, to mix different colors of dyed wool into a weathered felt. It’s a great pleasure to grab handfuls of the wool to blend and felt together.
Wool offers so much flexibility, variability and liveliness. These characteristics and its remarkable receptivity to dye allow for an exceptionally rich range of color, texture and pattern.
The physical work of the felting process is as exciting and interesting as the composing and stitching that goes into making a finished work. It can also be a welcome balance to the exacting demands of the detail work required to complete a piece.
A finished work is multi-layered. The felted image is attached to a carefully selected wool support. This piece is then sewn to another layer of felt for stability in presentation.
As much as I find value in the doing—its pleasures, struggles, frustrations and resolutions—I’m hopeful for the work to find its way in the world, to give others a moment of peace via beauty.
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