Business name: Jess Sims
As a student at school, art classes for me were very much about drawing and painting. I enjoyed mixing pastels and paints together but being a "making something from nothing" craft enthusiast, I didn't feel satisfied. It was my 'Art Foundation' course at Bournemouth Institute of Arts that introduced me to felt making, and it was my Contemporary Applied Arts degree at Cumbria Institute of Arts that opened my eyes to a wealth of equally exciting crafts, but there was still something missing.... In 2009, when I joined The Cygnet gallery in Shaftesbury, my arts and crafts experiences FINALLY merged together and I found my inspiration - felt art. I am both a 'felter' who paints with fibre, 'artist' who felts paintings (albeit rather hairy ones!) I build my woolly canvases with handfuls of merino sheep's wool, using a combination of wet and dry felting techniques to incorporate silk and bamboo fibres for a sense of depth and dimension. Having felted my woolly picture I then indulge in a spot of free machine embroidery, drawing with thread. From the rolling hills and Jurassic coasts of Dorset, to secret woodland glens, flowers and leaves, I am inspired by nature in all its forms, both great and small.