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Heather Wratt

Heather has a deep love of wool and of gardens. Her works reflect these influences. Here she describes her own creative life:

I have knitted and crocheted making garments for my family, most of my adult life. I love working with natural fibres, using mostly wool and cotton.

As the need for garments lessened I began to experiment with felting crocheted woollen items, embellishing the items with wet felted processed and unprocessed wool. I became more and more amazed and intrigued with the wonderful properties of wool and wanted a medium with more freedom than the structure crocheting imposed.

It seemed a natural progression to learn how to make felt. 

This is still very much a work in progress. I love to create with my hands. It causes me to be filled with wonder as wool forms into a fabric as I work it with my hands.

Soon after our marriage, Keith and I started farming. With my move into the country I discovered a love for gardening. Many of the plants and trees that I have enjoyed as part of our garden are now being looked at with a different eye. 

Discovering amazing colours extracted from plant material as it passes through the dye pot still delights and surprises me. 

More recently I have discovered eco printing – the process of printing plant material directly onto fibres.

Felting, dyeing and eco printing bring together things that I love – working with my hands and using natural materials to create. I am enjoying working with the unpredictable aspect of natural dyeing.

My happy place is to be out in my garden, stoking my fire under the dye pot or steamer, t waiting with excited anticipation to discover what beauty nature is going to reveal. 

Here is Heather’s statement about her work in the ‘Made Over- Preserving & Reinterpreting Exhibition’ on at ‘from out of the blue studio gallery’ until May 10th 2021.

Beauty May Fade But Never Dies

The cotton doily created a strong connection to my mother and grandmother .They left a legacy of using available textiles to create beautiful articles to enhance their homes. I have used wool and harakeke to honour the women who have gone before us who used the resources available to them to care for their families. I have made flowers to celebrate the creative use of these resources beyond the meeting of basic needs.

Heather Wratt – Beauty May Fade but Never Dies.
Some of the up-cycled elements that have gone into Beauty May Fade But Never Dies by Heather Wratt.

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