|above images from/whole shoot here|
|Image from barbarakeal.com|
This is artist and feltmaker Barbara Keal.
She makes scrumptious felt animal hats. Keal uses 100% pure wool only in natural colours. This gives the pieces an authenticity and distinct raw quality. They look like they've sprung from the earth, or been discarded by some wild thing in a deep dark forest.
Her work was on show at Origin in September, and stood like a meadow sanctuary amid the bird jewellery and neat ceramics. I asked Barbara why she'd starting making the hats. She said simply "I wanted to be a sheep! The hats made people happy, so I carried on making them". She wasn't wrong. I tried on one of the wispy, woollen creations and immediately began to grin from ear to ear. I felt like Max in Where the Wild Things Are, and had to fight the urge to scamper off into the nearest hedgerow. There is something earthy and quite magical about them.
|A scribble from my sketchbook straight after Origin.|