My name is Jan Waller and I am a felter.
I am originally from the UK, but my husband's work has meant we have been lucky enough to live overseas. I lived in Victoria in Australia for 5 years and I am currently living in the "Mitten" - Michigan in the USA.
My background is Fine Art, after art college I did some crazy jobs eventually finding myself an art teacher in the UK secondary school system for 10 years.
After my second child was born I had terrible PND and my rather brilliant husband bought me a day wet felting with Gillian Harris, better known as GillianGladRag, little did he know he had treated me to a day with one of the best!
Of course I was instantly in love with this wonderful ancient process of making unwoven cloth.
I have been felting for nearly 11 years now, I started out making accessories but in the last 5 years I have focused on making wall hangings, I think the best way to describe what I do is to say that I paint with the fibre, I lay out my design first, each tuft of fibre is a brush stroke.
I work mainly with merino - it's the base material of my work and then I love to mix in silks and velvets, scrim and locks of hair. When the design is complete I wet felt the piece until it is cloth, sometimes I embellish my work with a little needle felting, sometimes with machine embroidery, my favourite is hand stitching, felt and stitchery is a wonderful combination.
Sometimes it is difficult to know when to stop!
I love to depict nature and women. I draw inspiration from my everyday life, my family and friends, folklore and fairy tales, song lyrics, poetry and book illustrations.
I love that felt is so old, it is without a doubt the earliest cloth know to man, it is entwined in our histories, it can be found in cultures all around the world. It is part of the survival and evolution of man. I am proud to be a teeny tiny part of it's continuance.
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