Making things is a wonderful way to destress. I began teaching adult craft classes about five years ago because I really wanted to give others the opportunity to experience this too. As a teacher working for over twenty years with young people who have mental health issues, I have had the chance to see at first hand how creating something can be so relaxing and empowering.
Situated down a small country lane, my house provides a relaxed and informal atmosphere where I hope everyone feels quickly at home. The cats and now the alpacas who share our lives love to see visitors and indeed Norman, Fergus and Clement are happy to donate their fleece for the weaving and felting workshops. http://www.craftclasseswithclare.co.uk/alpacas.html
I also keep the classes small so that I have the time to make sure everyone goes home with something they can be proud of.
My Own Artwork
Using traditional methods I spin, weave and felt the fleece from our three alpacas. I use as little processing as possible so my art remains close to its source materials - my aim is to reinstate craft, localness and sustainability into the production process. Rather than using manufactured or chemical components, my designs use only natural alpaca colours and raw materials sourced from our Suffolk home.
Inspired by Ruskin’s desire for a return to the spiritual values of handcrafting from natural materials, I see my work as a response to the increasing abstraction of objects within the global supply chain. My art is influenced by the tactile nature of the fleece and the objects are intended primarily to be picked up, touched and held; in this way they evoke a primal response through the senses fulfilling an emotional rather than a physical need.