MEET YOUR TUTOR:
Cheryl Cook will be your tutor. She is the owner of Artybird Australia and works closely with our UK affiliate, Artybird Carnforth.
She has been felting and teaching felting in her Craftee Wenches workshops for over 10 years. As well as working with wool, Cheryl has a high level of interest and expertise in using alpaca fibre in her felting.
Cheryl is a graduate of the City & Guild qualifications in felt making that she will be teaching. She has a Cert IV Training & Assessment and has been a trainer for many years.
What will surprise many people when they meet Cheryl Cook is that this petite woman is the artist producing large, bold, texturally exciting felt art works.
Cheryl works with fibre that she dyes, stitches and paints thus producing her art works that make their own unique statements. This has not always been the case as she says,
In my early years as an artist, I loved to work with alpaca fibre… I had about 40 alpacas at that time and exclusively worked in this medium. Now I am broader in my fibre choices and really look for a medium or a combination of mediums that will contribute to what I want to create. I try not to be a ‘medium snob’ so that I keep methodology avenues open.
Cheryl worked in the medium of alpaca for about 15 years, but in order to expand her repertoire, thinking and skills as well as consider her work more deeply and at a richer level she began studying with Kate Horner in the United Kingdom. This has helped her to think of herself as an artist who is constantly developing, changing and enabling her to reflect on her work. Such reflection caused her to describe her style in this way:
My style is one where I explore innovation and where I can bring a unique application to a theme or topic. I don’t want to be constrained by common thinking about felt, textiles and medium. I want my style to be unique, exciting and stimulating to the viewer.
Having now worked with Kate Horner, who is her mentor, Cheryl continues to engage in ways of furthering her training. She is currently completing two masters level qualifications in Creative Textiles and Felt Making and will undertake a three year Research Fellowship (equivalent to a PhD) in 2019.