Previous AA2A Artist

Christine Branch

Project summary:

I am an avid feltmaker and for the past twelve years have been exploring the properties and potential of this medium. My particular passion has been 3D where the change from fine soft fibres to firm strong structures never ceases to fascinate and challenge me. I now want to explore in greater depth the possibilities offered by the surface of the fabric. Enhancement of the surface would be a whole new field to explore which up until now I have not had suitable facilities to develop. The possibility of working some of my samples up to full pieces is very exciting. There are two areas of interest I would want to follow up. Firstly printing directly on the surface exploring techniques to discover which mediums and methods are most effective in enhancing the surface quality of the felt. Secondly I want to explore the potential of printing on fine open weave fabrics which would then be felted into. I think screen printing would be particularly effective here where the masked unprinted areas would remain open to work fibres into. This would offer great opportunities for textural enhancement of the printed designs. I have samples of cellular structures just waiting to be developed with surface printing added to the design.

Decreasing mobility problems have meant that I have had to change my working pattern over the last few years. The flexibility of freelancing allows me to make the most of my best times. Deterioration in my mobility means spending more time as creator designer and maker with a change in the balance of how I use my time. This opportunity would allow me to make that transition more easily making use of modem technology. I would also like the opportunity to extend my knowledge of digital methods of working. I enjoy working with the computer and would like to make more use of it in my design and development work. Working alone it is rare to have opportunities to explore state of the art technology you have available. I would also enjoy the opportunity of interaction with members of the college. I have taught feltmaking to students aged from 4 to 80 with much success and enjoyment for all. I like extending the skill chain which links makers back over four thousand years by passing my knowledge onto others and would enjoy extending the art of feltmaking within the college.