THE NENE PARK TRUST FELTED BLANKET by Environmental Artist Charron Pugsley-Hill, Artisan Felter Eve Marshall and the people of Ferry Meadows Country Park
As part of my artist-in-residence post at Ferry Meadows Country Park creating art inspired by nature of the park we planned to create a stunning felted blanket of the wildlife of the park. The design of the blanket creates itself almost in my head which I then communicate to Eve with whom this is the third blanket we have created so far in our collaborations.
Workshops were then held with park visitors to teach them about the park wildlife and how to create some of the large pieces, the meadows and the river and then individual birds, flowers and leaves. The tree trunk and the branches with the background sky were created by myself and Eve in my studio not far from the park. Eve added lots of gorgeous touches of needle felted animals and insects whilst I added some further decorative stitching, buttons and beads to different parts of the blanket.
We had a number of committed participants and others who could only make one workshop. Each persons contribution is special to us as its a personal interpretation and contribution to a bigger piece of art. Finally I stitched it all together which took a number of evenings whilst staying with my mum near York on a break…..I had lost the will a bit when I completed it all as I realised that it then needed a backing stitching to it to give it a greater strength. Following a plea to friends a number saved me and we spent an evening stitching the backing to the blanket before it will be exhibited in the park somewhere!
These workshops were a great chance for participants to have a free go at felting with experienced artists creating a large piece as part of a wider group.
“good to be an artist for a few hours, a real inspiration, thank you and looking forward to the next one”
“Another fabulously enjoyable and creative day with lovely people-fascinating to see the project progressing and an honour to be a part of it”
“a wonderful felting experience with lovely ladies-am on sick leave currently and its been such a wonderful creative and inspiring day with great company, has cheered me up no end-plus fantastic to see the various stages of the blanket and how it develops, can’t wait to see the end product. Its been an absolute joy to be part of such a wonderful creation, very generous of the artist to share her work with ‘randoms’, quite humbling and overall awe-inspiring”
One thing that I have noticed about all the blankets we have created before is the way women and yes its mostly women attracted to felting come together in support and companionship to create a part of a whole. The social aspect and the learning have always been embraced with enthusiasm and support and care for others in the groups. Truly inspiring and humbling to be able to bring others together to learn a new skill and enjoy learning more about their own and others creativity.
I truly look forward to working with Eve on another felted blanket. If you think this is something you would like to discuss for your place, school or organisation then please get in touch to discuss it. More of my work can be seen at charronpugsleyhill.com and my art page on FB. The blanket will be exhibited at Ferry Meadows Country Park Peterborough along with an outdoor exhibition of my residency work in the autumn 2017.
The residency has been funded by The Arts Council England to whom I am truly grateful for the opportunity!