Thelma Russell

facebook : Thelma.Russell.feltmaker

After working in many textile disciplines, some years ago I discovered the endlessly fascinating process of feltmaking. Using a sustainable resource in a low-tech way appeals to me.

My feltmaking style has developed in two directions: I was brought up in an area best known for its heavy industry, but what I remember most about my childhood was picking flowers and berries, looking for birds’ nests, fishing for pond life and paddling in rock pools. This is reflected in simple felts which suggest landscapes, often with plant images; I like the contrast of the soft vague felt with the clean printed images. A later interest in costume and traditional clothing inspires brightly-coloured felts with lots of stitching and surface texture; recycled fabrics, stitching and traditional braids are all part of the mix. I’ve never tired of the infinite design possibilities of simple geometrical shapes like rectangles and circles.

I make some wall pieces and pictures, but my emphasis is on beautiful but functional objects such as book covers, table mats and vases. I have rented retail space in Northumberland since 2006, and have been accepted by Woolfest for the last four years.