In our ongoing Meet the Maker series we get to know textile artist Ali Scott and learn what inspires her work.
How did you first get into art?
As a child I drew obsessively and painted with a passion. After leaving Art College in the late 70s I moved to Wales and continued my exploration of all things creative including textiles, spinning, weaving, sculpting and printmaking and I persevered with my drawing and painting. I was fortunate to be taught by many talented artists and makers and furthered my interest in mark making using a variety of mixed media.
Were you self taught or did you study? If so how did you go about learning your craft?
One day I happened to visit a friend’s studio. She’d just returned from a brief feltmaking workshop and with her guidance we both made a small piece of felt together. I was amazed that this mound of loose wool fibres could be magically transformed into a fabric with nothing more than warm water, soap and friction i.e. my hands! I became hooked and felting has been my abiding passion ever since. I experimented and played with various fleeces, honing my skills and felting anything I could from brooches to scarves, hats to bags but picture making was where my heart lay. Over the years I’ve developed my own techniques to achieve the outcomes I seek.
What inspires your work?
Inspiration comes from the glorious Welsh landscape that surrounds us: Mountains, farmland, trees, lakes and traditional dwelling places. I hope my work expresses a delight in colour, texture, seasonal shifts and changing light.
What do you like most about the medium you create in?
I play with fluff for a living….what’s not to love?! Wool is such an undervalued resource. It is a very tactile, accessible and forgiving medium. Although I usually begin a piece with an idea, drawing or photo, the fibres often suggest something entirely different and I’m happy to go with that. It’s great fun! I’m primarily a ‘wet felter’ and enjoy the challenges and unpredictability of this process.
Have you got a favourite piece you have created, if so why?
My favourite piece is usually the last one I’ve made and as I create a lot of work, my favourite piece is always changing…
What advice would you give someone aspiring to getting into this medium?
Give it a go! Attend a workshop and then play!