Kate Toms grew up in a creative environment and has always enjoyed fiddling about making things - a love of simple, handcrafted decorations inspired her to create a range of her own - and what was a
hobby then went on to become The Angel Bill Trading Co, in 2002. She also enjoys work as an illustrator of books for the very young.
Working with mixed media, Kate creates decorative pieces for the home but a few years ago started needlefelting. In her words:-
"Armed with some fluff and a packet of barbed needles I began my needle felting journey about three years ago. Combining my love of creating three dimensional pieces with my lifelong adoration of furry, four legged beasties and, well, many dogs, some hares and a number of horses later, I am still thoroughly enjoying the process. Aiming to capture the character of the animal, I draw often on my own experiences of pet ownership, although, as we are a nation of dog lovers, whenever I take the dog walkies, I find further inspiration! I work with sheep fleece and tend, unless working to a commission, to make it up as I go along! Fibre is compressed and shaped by hand and ‘fixed’ using barbed needles which, when poked in and out of the wool, interlock the fibres together, forming a mass - no stuffing or sewing is necessary and pieces can be joined seamlessly - it really is, in my opinion, a form of magic! Needle felting is relatively new to the craft arena - until the 90’s it was used for industrial textiles until a clever American discovered a way to use the technique to create 3D sculptural pieces - I am very grateful to her indeed!"
You can see Kate demonstrating her technique in Baxters on Thursday 29th October at 11am.