I have lived and worked in the Midlands for the last 25 years and am currently based in Redditch, Worcestershire. I have worked with textiles for over 40 years and have been spinning, dyeing and felting for 35years. Throughout my professional career I have promoted excellence through the arts and it was a huge learning curve and privileged to work with young children and adults alike. Now I am in a position to put mind fully towards developing my own skills which I can now to expressing my ideas in a variety of media.
Felt is perhaps the oldest known fabric. Felt is made by exploiting its natural characteristics in a controlled way. I love the simplicity of the process combined with the knowledge of the wool types and their properties in formulating a design and finished piece. The fabric can be thick and robust such as that used for a yurt, shoes or vessel or soft and delicate with good drapery characteristics as in a scarf or item of clothing. More recently I have been able to apply the techniques and skill I had acquired throughout the years developing ideas through enquiry and sketchbooks.
More recently I have started to concentrate on developing bodies of work inspired by research and experiences. For these works I have started to use a variety of skills and media. I love hand stitching, the contact with the layers and fibres. Machine embroidery develops a different textured surface and this too gives another dimension to my work. More recently I have been working on my drawing skills and have started to work with stone and 3D sculpture,this really makes me observe more closely.
I was an exhibiting member of the Midlands Textile Forum , and now with Textile Connection. Textile Connection is a group of 10 textile artists who work together and promote critical appraisal of each other’s work. We not only inspire each other but support each other in promoting our individuality. We actively work to extend our areas interest and we try to challenge ourselves so that we move outside our comfort zones.
Chris Rider January 2017