Flights of Fantasy is the vision of artist Nancy Shafee working primarily in handmade felt giving talks, demonstrating and selling handmade felt fashion accessories, gifts and items for home decoration, both 2D and 3D under the name of flights of fantasy.
Nancy discovered feltmaking (more precisely wet felting) nearly fifteen years ago and was quickly hooked by the alchemy – fibre to fabric with just soapy water and a bit of effort! What’s not to like?
With more than 100 colours of ready-dyed wool and natural fibres available (as well as dying her own) she soon realised that however crazy they might sound, any colour combinations would be possible. She has, over the years, been asked to make wedding flowers with lime green and orange flowers, and a particularly striking bouquet in black and electric blue!
The benefit of felt wedding flowers is that they can be planned and made in advance of The Big Day. Of course they are also everlasting, although she often remakes individual flowers into brooches to give to wedding guests.
- handmade decorative items
- fashion accessories
- sustainable crafts
- custom-made designs
- recycled fabric designs
- coiled basket making workshops
- feltmaking workshops
- feltmaking kits
- ‘memory gifts’ in handmade felt and recycled fabrics
- eco-friendly designs
- commissions undertaken
- felt wedding flowers
It is probably not surprising that Nancy likes to encourage others to discover the excitement of feltmaking. She has been teaching for about ten years and particularly loves the joy her students get from their first experiments. Classes are run in West Horsley, but she also travels to schools or other meeting places or halls – wherever friends or socialising groups gather (WI, U3A, care homes, NCT groups, etc).
Since the first national lock-down in 2020 she has made some of her most popular classes into kits for learning at home, sold as Workshops in a Wallet, these are available from her own website or www.craftcourses.com.
Nancy also uses vintage/recycled natural fabrics, or customers’ own textiles, to make coiled fabric baskets. She calls these Memories Baskets, and some of the loveliest have incorporated fabric from bridal and bridesmaids’ dresses – a wonderful memory of a special day. She now teaches others how to make useful decorative items from their favourite fabrics or much loved but outgrown clothing (often little girls’ tiny dresses or husbands’ ties).
Nancy was accepted as a member of The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen in 2013 and took on chairmanship in 2016. She sells her work at the Guild’s gallery in Milford as well as at Haslemere Museum and other small outlets, along with craft events around Surrey and the Home Counties. Her work is listed on www.artisandryco.co.uk and www.luxecellence.com and she is happy to work on commissions.
Trade memberships / Awards / Qualifications
Nancy Shafee is current chair of The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen. Other memberships include Crafts Council, Heritage Craft Association, Guildford Art Society, Surrey Artists and American Fiber Arts Network. She has been a member of Mensa for more than 40 years and supports the Campaign for Wool. In 2019 Nancy was nominated for the Wool Innovation Prize.
Charles Cottage, Silkmore Lane, West Horsley KT24 6JQ
Telephone: 01483 383471