I like to go to the Platform 1 gallery in Clitheroe when I’m up in t’North of England because it usually has some quirky art on offer (e.g. working wood) and last weekend was no exception.

When I was at school the closest I got to any textile based arts and crafts was making a three-dimensional Garfield picture out of coloured felt. Felt seemed to be the mainstay for kids messing around at home too – not that I did a lot of stuff like that at home – I was far too busy building Lego or Airfix aircraft models to be bothered with soft girly crap like making stuff out of felt. I guess because it can be glued and stitched it’s quite user-friendly for kids and its versatility appeals to adults too if “Black Sheep: the darker side of felt” is anything to go by.

“Black Sheep: the darker side of felt” is a touring exhibition by the National Centre for Craft and Design and shows just what you can do with this fabric if you’ve got some dress-making, model making or hat-making skills. The eclectic mix of exhibits from European, Canadian and North American artists push felt to its limits. I’ve said before (in this post) that textiles aren’t really my bag, but my childhood affinity to felt (perhaps engendered by The Muppet Show) outweighed the dislike, and besides it was pissing with rain outside.

Here’s a link to a lot more detail about the exhibition than I can muster here.

Here’s the introductory blurb.
Laura Mirjami makes these cute little things. She grew up in Finland and her childhood stories are inspiration for these paperweights.
Bit pricey though! I ain’t got the cheddar for these mice…
Felt bear skull anyone?
Stephanie Metz, who lives and works in San Jose California, sculpted this teddy bear skull especially for the exhibition’s ‘touchy feely area’ and will freak out young kids across the UK!
Some of Rachel Olin’s ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ featuring a real ‘reaction piece’ – a horny little devil with baps and ‘wood’. Educated in Lincoln, she created the series especially for the exhibition.
‘Gluttony’ by Rachel Olin. Like the worst ‘Sesame Street’ character ever… the Cookie Monster best watch out!
I’ve been watching a lot of anime recently and so the costumes were the star attraction for me.
Very peculiar organic wall hanging. reminded me a lot of sea creatures, flower parts or cacti.
Something a Neil Gaiman character might wear if they ever do a live action version of The Sandman.
I don’t think this would be out of place at a fashion show.
Top half is quite conventional and then it just becomes impractical. Not a good dress to be wearing in the English summertime.