My mom taught me how to knit by showing me how to make small squares, which she eventually used to make me an afghan blanket. I kept up knitting as an adult, which led me to discover felting by accident – I thought I had enrolled in a knit-to-felt class at the Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts, but it turned out to be a wet felting class! I fell in love with the medium and have been creating in this art form ever since. I recently added decorative stitching and embroidery to my repertoire, and still dabble in a little bit of knitting.
Felting allows for a beautiful creative freedom, whether the items I want to create are on a flat surface or in 3D. I love to make abstract sculptural pieces using merino wool, which is so soft and warm to handle. I like to make vessels with decorative microdot lights embedded inside. I add all sorts of interesting fabrics or embellishments on the outside of that structure, making each piece unique. These are fun to make and they give a really beautiful ambient glow.
My favourite part of creating new pieces is figuring out how to make it come alive as I see it in my mind. Every time I start a new project I mull over what I want to create, how many pieces I want to make, and what it will take to make it happen. To me, the process of thinking about doing something is way more interesting than the actual making. I love to imagine projects in my head, whatever it might be, in hopes of being able to recreate them. I tend to want to get from point A to point Z way quicker than it actually takes to get there! Being invested in the process continues to teach me patience every day. But, as I often say, I will get a vision in my head, and then I will try to give my hands the freedom they need to make it happen.
In 2015, I had a show at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre called Under the Sea. The majority of the creatures I made for that exhibit were loosely based on sea creatures, but they all came from my imagination. It took me about a year to complete the 240 pieces that were a part of the show. It was very rewarding to see it all come together in the end.
Pat has lived in Yellowknife since 1974. A knitter for the majority of her life, Pat found her passion for felting around 2006. Pat prefers to work on small sculptural felting artwork and is often busy creating new pieces for exhibits. She is inspired by the many talented felt-makers out there and continues to learn new techniques through online courses and in-person teachings whenever possible. Besides her focus on creating pieces to beautify any environment, Pat also makes some utilitarian items to sell, such as cards with felt cutouts as well as dryer balls. Pat is a member of the Fibre Art Network of Western Canada, Felt: Feutre Canada, and the International Felt Makers Association.