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Moira West Fibre Artist

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Moira West

Moira West Fibre Artist

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My history is wide ranging and varied. I am a competitive person and this is reflected by my Employment history in the Royal Signals (WRAC) and West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police where I served as a Constable. Cycling, running and swimming, I enjoyed an active life taking part in many competitions both in the UK and abroad. Following this, a change in direction provided me with over 20 years accountancy experience, covering a variety of professional qualifications in what I refer to as my other life.

Speech problems developed and to counter this I took drawing lessons which led to my jumping into higher level studies in art – typical of my nature. What cannot be changed must be confronted. Between 2003 and 2005 I gained a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Distinction) after gaining an A level in Fine Art. I followed this with a HND in Craft & Design with DeMontfort University at its Grantham Campus. My studies were completed in 2010 after gaining a BA(Hons) Degree in Creative Arts, a First was awarded by Buckingham University via the OCA.

I need a challenge- something to make me interact with society and apart from exhibiting my work in solo exhibitions, I am a member of professional organisations who require their members to submit their work for selection. To add to the pressure, I also enter competitions and in 2011 I was a Selected Artist in OPEM1 at The Collection, Lincoln in 2011.
Memberships to date are with the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society, the Contemporary Crafts Network, Artist Directory, International Felt Association, EMVAN, Textile Directory and I am a volunteer administrator for the artists gallery – Sam Scorer, Drury Lane, Lincoln. Supported by my Husband, Brian,  I look forward to my continued involvement with these organisations and as well as with TAFA.

 

Statement

Much of my work is site specific. Working methods include hand-made felting processes incorporating traditional and contemporary techniques. Wool fibres predominate, integrated with plant and cellulose fibres, to create unusual shapes and textures. Inviting interaction and personal confrontation with life and its unexpected pathways.

I have developed a reputation for creating striking, fascinating and unusual fibre art, many examples of which are in private collections. Combining textile technique with a diverse range of challenging materials, my work is inspired by my environment and a desire to push boundaries whilst creating an impact to promote greater understanding of human frailty.

2 Comments

on Moira West Fibre Artist.
  1. |

    Hi Moira,
    I am inspired by your work. I create large felt vessels and love your process of printing on felt .I’m interested in this process and wondering if you can share the best way to achieve this.
    Im exploring printing on my 3D vessels. Thanks Denise Lithgow

    • |

      Hi Denise,
      I am so sorry for the delay in replying. Although I am not sure you require much input having seen some of your marvellous vessels.

      I experimented with spray paints but only professional acrylic spray paint and used waved stencil are good enough.

      For the above work I cut numbers in the stencil card (good quality waxed boards are best) and placed these over large needle felted batts (could use your own carded batts). I spray painted once and sometimes twice, overlaying the numbers before wet felting. Once dry I then overlaid and spray painted again. The spray paint can also be varied using distance to create tonal range.
      A professional paint means that it is fixed once the paint is dry (10 minutes), making over spraying easy and washing does not cause it to fade.
      I am interested in doing more of this work but will probably tear the batts apart and overlay them again before the final wet felt. Taking care to manage the fulling process ensures the required size as well as how firm you want the final piece to be – this is essential. A darker base felt for the inside of a vessel will probably look great particularly if the outer layers have been torn or shaped to make the final piece look cracked as well as printed. Design elements in this process are unlimited but – it is messy.
      The paint used in layers does soften when washed but it is not as soft as when dye is used.

      I created my painting booth by using large sections of plastic sheet and lots of printing paper to cover the areas of felt I did not want paint on.
      When buying the paint, a spray gun attachment is also essential (very cheap plastic ones are fine).
      Be prepared for lots of waste paper, paint transfer on hands, face, walls etc.

      I am sure you will have fun. I would also recommend that you have a quick youtube session on how to make a stencil (saves time later).

      Please let me know how you get on.
      Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
      Cheers
      Moira

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