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MONICA BENNETT

"I love colour. It is always what interests me first, what my eye sees first. Texture and pattern combined with colour inspire me and get the creative ideas flowing. My hand felted, wearable art pieces showcase colour, texture and pattern in a pleasing balance of form and function.


My wraps may look delicate but they are very wearable. Made mostly from Merino and Corriedale wools felted on to iridescent silk chiffon, they are soft on the skin, lightweight but warm, easily draped around the shoulders on a cool summer evening or wrapped around the neck, tucked under the chin and into a winter coat."

Monica was born and raised in West Vancouver. She received her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University in Toronto in 1988. In 1991, Monica took her first quilting class and from that moment on, fibre became her creative outlet. Throughout the 1990s, she studied embroidery, hand and machine stitchery, fabric dyeing and surface design with a variety of international teachers. She started teaching quilting in Vancouver in 1995 and continued to teach even after she and her husband, Trevor, moved to Pender Island in 1999. When Monica started learning to hand felt in 2001, she knew she wouldn't be working in fabric arts anymore.

"Once I saw how my hands could get into the creation of the art - literally - I was really excited. Almost overnight, I stopped working with fabrics and started working with sheep\'s wool, goat locks, silks and exotic fibres such as camel down, bison, qiviut, alpaca and llama. The ability to design and create the very fabric itself is an amazing feeling.


Everything I make is done by hand. I lay out the unspun fibres then felt them - gently rubbing them with warm, soapy water, then rolling them in bubble wrap over and over, constantly checking and adjusting as the work progresses. My hands tell me when a piece is felting, where it needs more attention and when it is finished."