The process of felt making was revealed to me while attending a children's art day with my kids at the Brighton Museum. We returned home and together we created a large scale felt wall hanging for our living room..... and my passion grew from there.

We left London and started a new life in Brighton, leaving behind 20 years of my life as a graphic designer and a further 20 years of my life full stop! The sea has always held a special place for me, mainly visiting during the annual summer exodus as day trips to the Essex coast. Living by the sea is immensely stimulating, observing the ferocious power of the sea to the hypnotic quality of calm waters. It was here that my love for the waves inspired me to create my powerful ‘Wave Series’ of hand felted wall art. 

 

Felt is such a versatile medium for expression that my source of inspiration within nature is constantly evolving. Originating with my dramatic felted seascapes, to pretty floral corsages and feather brimmed trilby style hats.  My first animal headwear was a series of dog breeds with their individual colourings, textural coats and their characterful ears after meeting all these wonderful canines on my daily dog walks with my Saluki lurcher. Now my style of felt making results in realistic animal inspired hats, rich in colour and texture. Natural soft wools and rugged fleeces are carefully blended to create bespoke costume wear for theatre, festivals and just for fun! I strive to create wearable art that is fun and fresh and that little bit different.

 

I regularly exhibit at events: crafts fairs, agricultural events, medieval and faerie festivals around the South of England. During the Summer months I hold wet felting workshops alongside which involves creating a mini work of art using just wool, soap and water! I’ve run hugely popular felt making sessions at large scale events, private group lessons and whole class felting in schools following national curriculum topic work. I sell online to customers all over the world: headdresses for private parties, stag nights, halloween costumes and for theatre productions. 

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Karen Rao Felt Artist - the beginning

Karen at her first ever craft fair at The Baby Expo, Amex Stadium Brighton