Claire Cawte

Wales

About Claire

Claire is a freelance textile artist specialising in felt making and natural dyes and has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. As a textile artist her work includes wraps, scarves, bags and corsages all influenced by the natural environment and tribal costume. This is complimented with a burgeoning collection of sculptural pieces inspired by the characteristics of British fleece.

In 2010 Claire received a project grant from the Arts Council of Wales to research and explore the properties of British fleece which she is currently using. British fleece is coarser, more stubborn and more labour intensive to felt, which has lead her towards the making of sculptural pieces.

“Having the opportunity to work with clean ‘prepared’ fleece from the Cambrian Mountain was so appealing, as the provenance of the materials is important to my ethos. This provided the perfect opportunity to develop my new ideas into products that demonstrate how Welsh wool can be manipulated and formed through a felt making process and how the wool responds to and absorbs natural dyes.

On receiving the pure white Welsh fleece, I found that it was soft to touch with a long staple that is perfect for felting application. I used an Eco print method that transfers colour from leaf to fabric using a direct contact natural dye method. The wool absorbed the natural dye and leaf print beautifully demonstrating how effectively natural dyes respond to the natural qualities of the Welsh wool.”

Claire has developed a range of hand felted bags dyed using natural dyes and adorned with reclaimed leather handles. The fleece becomes a strong and durable material once felted demonstrating how elegantly Welsh Wool can be utilised to its full potential.

Claire regularly participates in Gallery Craft Fairs throughout the UK presenting and selling her work. She also supplies a number of Galleries more information can be found on her website claire@clairecawtextiles.co.uk

clairecawtetextiles.co.uk