Design source

Previous work, ‘nil Desperandum’ and ‘Implosion’, encompassing sensory feedback/distortion. Inspired by Peter Randall-Page’s work at ysp.

Techniques used

Needle felting using a single barbed needle.


White willow sphere, white merino, white merino/linen/silk-blend, lace yarn (white/pink/yellow), merino slub yarn, and merino boucle yarn.

Process and Evaluation

For this work I used a willow fibre structure created by Alison Walling, produced in white willow, to my specification. I began by looking at the emotional response to what happens in situations which we find unpredictable and stressful. My first piece looked at fear, the second change, and the third ending on the positive element of hope. Each structure is hollow and is intended to be touched.

The willow for Hope was interwoven with white merino to form a key. This was followed by soft luxurious fibres which included a merino, silk and linen blend (for strength), which was needle felted to the merino key. Extra care was needed to ensure that the single barbed needle did not catch the willow which is easily broken. The mixed fibres were felted over the entire surface together with yarns. Some of the yarns were used to stitch into the willow, using a tapestry needle, to provide anchors at various points. This was needed because of the anticipated handling by members of the public whilst in exhibition. Many layers of wool ensured that the final piece would be a soft sphere which had tonal depth.

Hope (almost-complete), with single barbed needle.
Hope (nearing completion), with single barbed needle.

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