Monthly Archives: January 2019

Dancing with an Angel

21 years of an Angel Exhibition

Thursday 31 January – Saturday 30 March 2019

The Gallery, Gateshead Central Library

This week sees the opening of the 21 Years of an Angel Exhibition. The show marks the end of Angel20, a yearlong programme of activities in Gateshead which began on the Angel of the North’s 20th anniversary in February.

I delivered a one-day workshop as part of the programme. We made needle felted replica angels. During the workshop, participants learned how to create and felt over, a wire armature.

The basic armature is covered with polyfill – this can be needle felted to build the form, saving the need to use wool fibres at this stage.

The shaping of the Angel was entertaining 😊

It’s important to keep things simple at this stage though as greater definition can be shaped once the wool fibres are added.

We used rust coloured merino tops to match the Angel’s construction materials- it’s made of weather resistant Cor-ten steel, containing a small amount of copper, which forms a patina on the surface that mellows with age.

Details were added with a deeper brown fibre.

Then thread was used to add finer details.

Each angel is mounted on a ‘landscape’ created from a fish tin and fabric. A spiral of wire is secured to the tin and the Angel is fixed to this spiral.

The tin itself is covered with more polyfill and fabric to represent the hill that the Angel of the North stands on. Decoration is added with felting and embroidery.

I made two Angels, the first ‘Angel Delight’ depicts a summery Angel adorned with bunting. The second shows a nighttime Angel, illuminated with moon and stars.

The whole project was a lovely challenge- working out how to model the Angel shape and display it- there were several armature attempts before I was happy with it and I was really pleased with how effective the polyfill was as a base. The project was especially meaningful to me as I was actually present on the hill, the day the Angel was installed!