A visit to Turkey led to an introduction to feltmaking. Philip has blogged about this discovery here.

Philip’s feltworks have immense colour and depth, combining traditional craft techniques and modern technology. He uses carded and dyed wool with synthetic fibres, UV pigments and holographic foil.

‘MEVSIMLER’   =   “The Seasons” 



This is one of 4 felts which live under the ‘Mevsimler’ title. They were all made in my first workshop visit to actually make felt. I had visited before and drew the workshops and various other aspects of life in Tire.  These felts were made in the tradition of the workshop and felt-master Ahmet Zincircioĝlu. The bisected linear patterns at the edges are a symbol of the towns feltmakers and used on all my felts in this series. They are pre-felted without the soap mixture, formed into sheets and cut with scissors (Nakaṣik = ‘cut with scissors’ technique) to make up the tiny parts.



All the felts were all made in the same method. Using the ‘Nakaṣik ‘ technique we worked together on the design and making aspect. I learned a lot of Turkish from Ahmet. He was a good teacher and very patient with my toing and froing with the design. Each piece took a day of designing and making and another day to make the felt thin and solid. They end up 30cm deep whilst being constructed. After felting they are 2cm thick.


Ahmet with ‘SPRING’   

The image shows the scale and material. This was taken after the felting was complete and the felt unrolled but before the treatment for forming the edges.  The felts are later washed at the kerbside and left to dry at the local mosque.



Each design was made in a spontaneous fashion. The floor was covered in a large rush mat with guidelines woven into it. It was simple to keep the geometry of the design and the grid structure correct.


‘KRAZY KILIMZ’ is a painting interpreted into felt using the local technique and methods. The coloured wool fibre is often mixed in the carding machine to get particular tones and shades. All the sharp cutout shapes are laid down first on the rush mat. The fluffy material is strewn about over the designed geometric shapes. Hence, the soft and hard shapes and patterns.


On another visit I made a new series of artworks.

‘Duvar Panasu’ translates to ‘wall-hangings’, a title I really liked. Basicaly they were based on geological layering from around Turkey. Also an idea developed from drawing and painting stacks of kilims, carpets, etc in warehouses amongst the coastal towns.


Based on a visit to southern India in 1995. The design is based on a Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.   Here it is transposed into Tamil alphabet shapes and stacked in layers.  Only the black background was made in Turkey. The coloured parts I made in UK as part of my academic research into ‘Non-Woven’ textiles, meaning “Not Stitched, Knitted or Woven” a category that felt fits into. There are big developments in the section but not used nor understood by many artists or designers.