Felting Ireland

Niki Collier - Visual Artist & Maker

in Maker & Designers

Niki Collier is a fibre and people curious maker, designer and educator. She has worked in the arts telling her stories through wool and collaborations for over a decade. Her process involves wet-felts fables, sometimes with a spark of technology, sometimes through collaboration with others. She sees wet felting to offer limitless possibilities to make forms and surfaces. The process reinforces her core values: the best textures come through a blend of diverse fibres; and the strongest structures are developed through rigorous agitation. Her wet felted stories are an invitation for people to examine their truths into the safe playground of her imagination.

She started her stories in wool through the microorganism series. The work explored our complex experience with form and function. She combined meaningful rubbish such as disposable medical gloves, or a silk scarf from a Covid patient with wool from local farmers to create colourful and cuddly sculptures that help us overcome our fears and heal from the impact they had on us.

As a woman, an immigrant and a disabled person –she is regularly a poster girl for the antagonistic perceptions of otherness. This motivated her to create joyful visual stories in fibre that reflect how she sees the fabric of a community. The Fabric of Us—Celebrations, was a three year collaborative art project that reflected on change; profiling the evolving make up of a community through geographical, cultural and personal change.

Her latest work symbols of mobility studies how our perception of belonging, identity and growth is reflected in bird lore - fables, proverbs and old fairy tales - and our emotional connection to them. Each piece is a complex multi-layered three dimensional sculpture that is realized through diverse community engagements and is presented in a multimedia format that ultimately allows the stories to be heard and showcased through a series of events and projects.

Niki has been fortunate to see her work internationally for over a decade and amongst her stockist are not just Leitrim Design House, who discovered her, but also The British Museum Shop, Kilkenny Design and a music museum in Minnesota.

Niki is also an award winning Visual Artist with supports from Arts Council, several Arts Offices, Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and World Crafts Coincil, Craft Northern Ireland and many more.