Yuli Somme - is a local craftswoman who started out on her woolly journey with Devon Guild. She came to give us an entertaining and fascinating talk about her beginnings in weaving and spinning to her latest adventures with felt. We were especially interested to hear about her beautiful felt 'eco-coffins' and her research into the world of funerals and natural burial here in the UK.
Here is an excerpt from her website:
" – meaning “beautiful resting place” – is the old name for the ancient granite building where I started designing and making the Leafcocoon wool felt coffins.I have recently moved the workshop into bigger premises; a beautiful and airy chapel in Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon.
Wool is my raw material, which is made into felt, and from this is crafted a unique range of lovingly hand-made products; bags, tuffets (seat pads), quirky tea cosies, woollen insoles, hot water bottle covers, hats, little decorations, wall hangings, felting kits and Leafcocoons – a unique soft wool eco coffin, designed for natural burial.
The pieces are all hand made, motifs are either sewn or needle felted in. Dyes are always natural.
Dartmoor is where I live and work – a beautiful and wild landscape – and this is an infinite source of inspiration. I am deeply mindful of our environment and the preciousness of nature, so everything I do or make bears this in mind; keeping my impact on the planet as small as possible. ‘Wool miles’ are kept as low as is currently achievable; workshop waste is kept to a minimum, recycling as much as possible and composting the rest on site as part of the management of the chapel grounds.
Yuli Somme, M.A. (Textiles), Feltmaker & Bellacouche Owner
Thanks so much for coming to visit us Yuli!