My name is Heather Potten, and I’m a feltmaker based in Edinburgh.
I’ve worked with felt since 2008, and contributed to textile and home exhibitions around Scotland since 2011. I hold regular workshops in 3D and 2D felt. When I attended my first workshop in New Zealand in 2007, I knew virtually nothing about feltmaking. My introduction could not have been better. I was shown into a basement garage with a tarpaulin on the floor spread out with every imaginable colour of hand-dyed wool tops, handed a basket and told to fill it. I was enchanted.
Eight years on, I’m still discovering new things about felt.
I work with natural wools and silks to create art pieces and wearable accessories from hand felted material.
With different wools, I can experiment with colour and pattern, the versatility of the raw materials inspires me to explore new techniques, particularly in three dimensional work.
I discover ideas for textures and shapes in the natural environment.
I photograph patterns in ice, rocks and pebbles, seaweed and sand close to my home in Edinburgh and layer the wools organically to replicate the flowing curves and colours of nature. In my most recent work, my choices of colour, texture and pattern are informed by our stunning and gritty northern landscape. I love the texture of lichen on rock, sheep’s wool clinging to bark, and the water channels carved into the sand.
And I particularly like when we come across beached fishing boats with peeling paint, rusting nails and chains, driftwood and barnacles.
I am fascinated by seamless felt. I am currently developing a collection of fine felt cowls called Inside Out. Each cowl is reversible and can be worn in several ways as part of an outfit. They require a few moments to shape around the face. I design a brooch for each unique cowl.
I want to show how soft and sculptural felted wool can be, as well as warm. I aim to create pieces that challenge the way people perceive felt, to show that it has great strength and form, as well as beauty.
I also make felt vases and seed pod accessories.
The process of moulding and shaping creates a hidden centre, which I often embellish with beads. These can only be glimpsed from certain angles, like a secret treat.
Find me here: