About Clare Wickham
Clare Duffy Wickham is a self taught textile artist, who creates her pictures by wet felting wools, alpaca, silks, cotton and bamboo and then she needle felts, giving her pieces exquisite detail.
With a background in craft, Clare was close to sixty when she became interested in felting. “As soon as I started I fell in love with the whole process, there is something quite magical about it. It’s never too late to start a new page in the book of life,” she says.
Clare lives in Cullenstown , miles from the nearest town and close to the sea. “I can hear the sound of the waves breaking on the beach when I walk in my garden; it’s never far from my thoughts. I am influenced by everything around me. We have a wild area by the stream and this is a great place for wild flowers, birds and the occasional visit of hares and hedgehogs.” Working from her own photographs, she first creates her “canvas” by laying fine layers of wool across each other to build a base for the picture. Then she lays the coloured fibres, which are as varied as seaweed fibre to silk. Soap and water are sprayed over the piece, and it is rubbed, rolled, and thrown before washing and drying, ready for needle felting. This is the slow process of jabbing a long barbed needle thousands of times into strands of wool to form the detail.
Each wool painting is made with much love and Clare’s wish is that this love travels with her work to its new home.
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“ I connect with each picture, for example, while I worked on Cooper, a beautiful Labrador, he and I became friends, even though I never knew him when he was alive. That’s the effect it has on me, I become a part of the process, it is me and I am it.”