I enjoy the relationship between colour and texture, striving to capture the drama and also the subtlety of nature in my felt art. I also study the balance between strong imagery and creative typography, having worked for many years as a packaging designer in London. I completed a Foundation course in Art and Design at Middlesex Polytechnic and went on to do a (BA Hons) Graphic Design at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic.

Beside the sea
We left London and started a new life in Brighton. The seaside has always held a special place for me, mainly visiting during the annual summer exodus as day trips within the nearest reaches of London. Actually living by the sea, being with it every day is refreshing and stimulating. It was here that my love for the waves really inspired me, not only creatively but physically too.

The process of felt making was revealed to me while attending a children's art day with my kids at the Brighton Museum. We returned home and together we created a large scale felt wall hanging for our living room, complete with matching accessories ... and my passion grew from there. My new life harmoniously revolved around designing, felt making and surfing!

Over the years my work has evolved from dramatic wave inspired wall art, to pretty floral corsages and now to animal inspired costume wear: hand felted eared and horned headdresses for theatre, festival wear and just for fun! I originally hand felted varied dog breed inspired hats with their characterful ears after meeting all these wonderful beasts on my daily dog walks.

I strive to create wearable art that is fun and fresh and that little bit different. 


Painting with wool'
My felt wall art is created by hand and is based on the ancient art of felt making which has been in existence for around 8000 years. Each new generation explores new treatments for this traditional textile resulting in an incredibly versatile medium which can be used to create anything from blankets to garments, to jewellery and works of art.

Natural wool and plant fibres are placed across each other, following the age old method of felt making. The pre dyed merino wool is rubbed and rolled with soap and water causing the individual scales of the fibres to mesh together, producing a strong material. When dry, I add more wool by needle felting to create further colour and form.

Much thought is given to the laying down of colour and fibre, just as a painter steps back to view their canvas. I 'paint' with wool, building upon my concept, applying threads, fibres and fabrics to create powerful designs that are rich in texture and depth; no other medium allows such stunningly tactile artwork to be created.

'The Wet Felting Experience'
I regularly attend craft fairs and exhibit at the BRIGHTON OPEN HOUSES I've run workshops in schools creating whole class wall hangings, also at large events such as the Brighton Science Festival and my hugely popularr "The wet Felting Experience" at the BRIGHTON MINI MAKER FAIRE bringing my workshop to over 100 people! I hold smaller FELT MAKING PARTIES too which are available to book in and around Brighton. I really love showing people the wet felting process and seeing their fascination as their pile of wool transforms into a felted work of art. The uses of felt are endless, so too is the learning process which makes the nature of felt making so unexpected and so rewarding.

Please view my online TUTORIAL that I created for 'Workshop on the Web'

I now take felt making workshops in schools. See the amazing work in the WORKSHOP GALLERY!







Follow me on FACEBOOK

My latest work is in my Etsy shop: karenrao.etsy.com

about fair
facebook icon
shop icon
Karen at her first ever fair: The Baby Expo, Brighton