Featured Artist Barbara Poole

Fiber artist Barbara Poole uses her background as a painter to create colorful, one-of-a-kind felted garments and accessories. Discover more of her wearable art by visiting her website.

 

Artist Barbara Poole with “Green Roped” Dress, Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool. See artist Barbara Poole's portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Barbara Poole with “Green Roped” Dress, Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I am a person who makes things; I love the process of making—the discovery, the happy accidents, the unknown and the seemingly impossible. I find the problem-solving fun and I get a kick out of coming up with something that surprise, delights and educates me. Felting is a perfect medium for me!

 

“Pink Fantasy” Dress, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Pink Fantasy” Dress, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I grew up by the ocean and I find that I use the shapes and marks that I would find on the beach in my felting work—barnacles, snails, seashells, seaweed, beach grass and even the ridges in the sand from the movement of the tides.

 

“Fall” Dress, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Fall” Dress, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I incorporate a lot of organic shapes in my work including wavy line and circles; the softness of the material expands to the shapes I am using. I am equally inspired by the four elements—earth, air, fire and water.

 

“Invasive Species/Unintended Consequences” Gown, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton, Steel and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Invasive Species/Unintended Consequences” Gown, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton, Steel and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I also love science and all those stories of 18th century explorers who made up stories about the things that they found in order to explain them. My son, Ian (a wonderful writer), and I worked together on an installation piece titled “Invasive Species/Unintended Consequences” that incorporated my felt work and my drawings. Like my paintings, the installation was a narrative piece about scientists confronting an unexplainable foreign species.

 

“Black, White & Red Beret, Scarf, and Pulse Warmers” Hand felted and Hand Dyed 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Black, White & Red Beret, Scarf, and Pulse Warmers” Hand felted and Hand Dyed 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I like the fact that I can make exquisite fashion apparel and accessories and can incorporate it into my artwork and show it in an art gallery. As I’ve grown as a fiber artist, I experiment more and more with bringing in other influences from the art world.

 

“Red Shawl Symphony” Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Red Shawl Symphony” Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

Until I discovered felting I was a painter, and for a while I worked both in paint and felt. When the recession hit in 2007, my paintings stopped selling, but not my felted garments. As I am an artist whose income is needed to support my family, I decided to reinvent myself as a fiber artist.

 

“Screaming Yellow Handbag & Pulse Warmers” Hand Felted and Hand Dyed 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Screaming Yellow Handbag & Pulse Warmers” Hand Felted and Hand Dyed 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

Now, I focus entirely on making garments and accessories. My training as a painter enables me to compose my garments and accessories in a holistic fashion.

 

“Skin and Bones” Dress, Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Skin and Bones” Dress, Hand Felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I work from drawings as I did when painting, but there is also a different kind of discovery process that occurs when you make felt. You need to be concerned with three dimensions, so I look for the balance of light to dark, large to small and how the eye moves across the piece. It ends up that my work in felt is much more abstract that my painting work.

 

“Homage to Frida Kahlo” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Homage to Frida Kahlo” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

My favorite garment to create is a coat. They are very large complex projects, and really give me the same thrill as creating a painting.

 

“Homage to Gustav Klimt” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool by artist Barbara Poole. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Homage to Gustav Klimt” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Silk, New Silk, Rayon, Cotton and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

I love figuring out how to create functional, beautiful seamless garments that protect you from the elements. When I begin a coat, I am usually starting from a place of inspiration.

 

“Love From Paris” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Vintage Beaded Silk, New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool “Love From Paris” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Vintage Beaded Silk, New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool

“Love From Paris” Coat, Hand felted using nuno felt techniques, Hand Dyed Up-Cycled Vintage Beaded Silk, New Silk and 100% Organic Merino Wool

 

Recently I have created coats that are homage to Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt and Paris.

 

Artist Barbara Poole invites you to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

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Comments

  1. Beautiful and unique.

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