Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Powder Grey LABEL

Thank you to those who popped by to our Open Eve/ LABEL Launch. Last Friday evening  was just a snippet of what's to come as we have another event later in the year, will post details nearer the time. We will have a lot more from our LABEL collection and you'll have an opportunity to see other artists, designers etc. Here a just a few snap shots of the lovely items/write ups prior and during the event. Thanks again from us all at Powder Grey.

www.powdergrey.com www.eribe.com www.skinflintdesign.co.uk www.whitedoveandwonder.co.uk LABEL & GIOVELAB favourite things - collaboration www.giovelabmyshopify.com www.davidcass.work www.stephenkenn.com www.gladyspaulus.co.uk

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Behind The Label...

Gladys Paulus - Felt Artist 

How long have you been a felt artist, can you briefly describe the process
I made my first piece of felt in 2005, library book in hand. I was instantly hooked and have been experimenting with the medium ever since, initially as a hobby, now as a full time artist. I feel I have really only just scratched the surface of what is possible with this medium, and I am excited about exploring beyond the boundaries of what is ‘traditional’ feltmaking.

There are two types of felting: wet felting (the traditional method involving water) and needle-felting or dry felting (a method adapted from industrial-scale felting, incorporating barbed needles). I am a wet felter.

Wet felting is an ancient practice, and is thought to date back to Neolithic times. At its most basic, wet felting involves laying out layers of wool fibres, wetting them out with water (nowadays we add soap too), and then rubbing, rolling and kneading the wet wool until the fibres start locking together. The more rubbing and rolling is done, the stronger (denser) the felt becomes and the more shrinkage will take place.

To felt a three-dimensional hollow item like a mask, you have to create a ‘resist’ first. This resist is cut out from a thin sheet of impermeable membrane (I use foam underlay for wood flooring), which is then wrapped in wool layers, wetted out and felted with the resist inside. The resist acts as a barrier and stops the two sides of wool felting together, creating a pocket in essence. When the felt is cut open and the resist is removed you have a hollow object, which can then be stretched, shaped and shrunk into a specific form.

For my mask making I have adapted this resist technique, in order to be able to create all the facial features in one seamless piece of hollow felt. It means I spend a lot of time calculating, planning and designing the resist before I even reach for any wool! These techniques I now teach regularly to other feltmakers all over the world.

Where do get your visionary inspiration from?
I don’t know about visionary, but I think the initial drive to make masks came out of being exposed to a certain kind of imagery throughout my childhood in a mixed race household (my father hailed from Indonesia, my mother is Dutch) and a fascination with ‘magic’. When I was little, my grandfather told me stories of ancestral spirits, objects that could protect the family, and other unexplained phenomena from his former life in Indonesia. These stories made a big impression on me. He was Catholic, but managed to integrate quite a few animistic beliefs into his faith. I consider myself quite practical and pragmatic, yet there is another side to me that is curious and open to all possibilities.


How long does it take to make one of your infamous creature masks?
It depends a lot on the complexity and detail of the design, but an average animal mask takes about 4-6 days’ work. I would say that is the minimum time I spend on a piece. Most pieces take a lot longer!

What's your favourite piece you've ever created?
Once a piece is finished, I tend to find I am ready to move on from it pretty much straight away. The
attachment was in the thinking and dreaming it up, the letting go was in the creation of it. It’s a bit
like falling passionately in and out of love… and I am currently in love with the work I am creating for my first solo exhibition!

What was the last thing you designed?
An ancestral costume consisting of a type of suit of armour, made of felt and charcoal... I don’t want to say too much about it; I’m keeping things firmly under wraps until the exhibition opening.

Do you have any hobbies?
Gardening, reading, going for walks, wild swimming, listening to music, but I don’t really have much time for these at the moment.

What are you currently listening to?
Awaken my Love by Childish Gambino, Shedding Skin by Ghost Poet, and some classic Kate Bush

What's your favourite colour?
Up until recently I would have answered green, but for some reason I want to say blue.

Name 5 things that you can't live without...
Herbal teas, wild swimming, sun on my face, good connecting chats, my studio

What's next for Gladys Paulus felt artist?
I was invited by my local art gallery to put on my first solo show (scheduled for Sept-Oct. 2017, so I am currently in the process of creating a body of work for this that builds on the world view and notion of ancestry and magic.

For the show I am making a series of ancestral healing costumes, rooted in the shamanistic idea that to heal oneself, one has to heal one’s ancestors first. I have carried the seed for this idea ever since I started making felt, but it was triggered again by the recent death of my father and last remaining grandparent. Through making these costumes I am processing my grief, but also hope to bring to light some of the stories and events that shaped my ancestors and therefore, by default, me. These stories are very personal to my family, but touch upon some very universal themes and issues that are as relevant today as they were then.

In order to free up time to make the work for this, I have put aside my other commitments and income-generating activities and I am enormously fortunate to have the support of a lovely an
interactive little group of patrons through my crowdfunding page. Patronage starts from as little as $1/month, and there is plenty of room for more patrons to join!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Shades of GREEN

Green is this years colour for 2017, PANTONE 15-0343 'Greenery' to be precise, a zesty yellow-green, a fresh youthful kind of green as its best described. No matter where you look there will be no escaping from this or any other shade of green this year, either it be in interiors, fashion, architecture, food or even reference to politics, it'll be used.
Not one for following trends my main usage of this colour is usually to finish off a completed room bringing the outside look, inside, with flowers, foliage or a plant from our artificial flower range, which are available in store or online. One thing’s for sure, no matter what big trend colour it will be you can guarantee it'll look great next to the colour GREY.