Victorian artist Pam Hovel has highlighted the connection between body and soul with the tactile felt creations featured in a new exhibition opening at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles Gallery in May.The Body and Soul exhibition features Hovel’s soft and cuddly homewares and clothing that promise to not only embrace the body but also to uplift the soul.“My connection to nature and the beauty of natural materials has taken me in different directions over the years, culminating in a love affair with felt about eleven years ago,” Pam reveals. “The magical properties of wool + water + friction (felt) and plant-based dyes enable me to express myself while staying within the boundaries of sustainable living.” Pam Hovel
Using felt as a creative medium, Body and Soul explores sustainable fashion and homewares and includes contemporary lightweight felted dresses, all botanically-dyed, as well using natural coloured fleece to bring a hint of the wild into the home.Pam is an innovative textile artist living near Bendigo, Victoria. Her light filled, mud-brick studio on her family property is surrounded by bushland and wildlife and it is this natural environment that both inspires her work and provides materials for her textiles.
Creating has been an integral part of Pam’s life, initially through necessity when she sewed clothes for herself and then for her children. Larger projects have also featured in her creative life including the mud-brick home she built with her husband, many years before sustainability and recycling were fashionable. The home was built largely from reclaimed materials and is surrounded by a large garden, Pam’s passion prior to textiles.
A lifelong interest in textiles led Pam to discover felting in 2004 and she has been passionate about it ever since. Although she has attended numerous workshops with well-known felt artists, she is largely self-taught and has won awards for her work.
Following her creative instincts, Pam has sought sustainable art practices. After exploring different techniques and fibres, she developed a beautiful, soft felt fabric using super-fine Australian Merino wool. More recently she has focused on more feminine and highly artistic garments, marrying wool and silk in the felt process, as well as using raw and wild fibres with dramatic results.Pam’s Body and Soul exhibition will be opened from 6th until 17 May 2015.
Eco-printed  and textured nuno-felted top or tunic workshop with Pam HovelDuring this workshop we will look at design aspects and work on samples using different fabric manipulation techniques.   You will make a top or tunic following a method which eliminates the need of a template or calculating shrinkage rates and how to put it all together to form a garment which fits.
We will explore of world of the eco-print when we will fire up the caldrons and indulge ourselves in a little magic. While we are waiting for this magic to happen we will look at alternative methods of fabric manipulation in nuno-felt. Using fabric scraps from your stash, we will make a scarf or obi which you can then eco-dye at home.This workshop is not designed for beginners. Some felting experience and some very basic sewing is necessary and, a word of warning, there is quite a bit of rolling involved.

Dates: 11-13 May 2015 (9.30 am – 4.30 pm)