Kentucky Crafted Artist Page

Cathie Brown

Fiber

Change inspired My New Purse.

From random knitting to purposeful creativity
From knitting sweaters to designing felted purses
From floppy hand-knitted “bag” to structured textured purse
From something useful to wearable art

After a lifetime of knitting, I was introduced to felting—a process that changes hand-knitting into a completely different medium. The appeal of felting then merged with the joy of finding a great new purse and sparked a fresh enterprise: My New Purse.

I make original one-of-a-kind purses using the ancient process of fulling or wet felting, but with modern advantages.  My purses are first hand-knitted or crocheted using wool yarn, then exposed to wet heat and agitation in the washing machine to change loose stitches into rich, textured fabric.

After one lifetime of raising four sons with my pediatrician husband and teaching middle school students in small town Eastern Kentucky, I am now blessed to find myself in our new life of retirement close by the palisades of northern Madison County. Now I have time and space and freedom to use my energy and creativity in totally new ways.  The seasonal changes of our natural surroundings—river, meadows and woods—are my inspiration.

For me, creating felted purses combines a longtime personal attraction to particular purses and handbags, with the great joy I get imagining original designs and carrying out my concepts to completion.

Finishing touches of fabric linings and unusual trims and embellishments set my felted purses apart from others. I love to incorporate felted flowers in my designs and to re-use old notions and jewelry to make a purse that is different from anything made before.  Color and contrast tend to show up in my work more than neutral subtlety. Though I have used simple and readily available wool yarn to make something special out of the ordinary; I also might add in specialty yarns to create different and unusual felted combinations and effects. My design style leans toward a cleaner, more traditional look that has hints of whimsy, joy, and maybe just a touch of grace.

The transformation of felted purses from floppy to structured and simple to special mirrors my own personal journey of change and inspires me every day.

Change is good; transformation, amazing!