Suzy Shackleton

“Living and working from my studio in the hills of the Peak District I make contemporary wall hangings using traditional felt making techniques.I like to combine old with modern using ancient felting methods to create illustrative designs with exciting textures and bold compositions. Most of my work tells a story and all of my work is inspired by colour.

I like to think I was destined to become a felt artist …my grandma was a milliner making felt hats for the wealthy in Lytham and I was born in Stockport, the main felting region of the country with more than 30 factories churning out felt hats to meet demand.

Felt making is an ancient art…I am very aware of its history and the deep roots it has in the culture of communities. I love the rich colours of the wool, its tactile qualities and the whole process of rolling and creating the felt. There’s a therapeutic feel good factor about it that links you with its history. 

My practice has changed over time and I’m always challenging myself with new and more advanced techniques. My felts are paintings, with the beautiful wool my pallet. Layering the fine fibres, I gradually build up colour and tone. Each piece of work is hand rolled and wet felted using inlays and prefelts and then embellished with needle felting to develop the detail. “