Dia duit! Hello from Donegal

I am Michelle McKee, Donegal Artist and felt maker with a love for moody colours, textiles, nature and sheep.

My creations are hand felted landscape pictures,
which are inspired by my rural habitat, on the North West Irish Coast –
contrary to the North East, where I was born and bred in Belfast during the ‘height of it’.

I make my mark by using fleece (un spun wool) – a natural medium, unpredictable, wild and unruly, like myself!
When fleece  is rubbed with soapy water, the scales in the fibres open and when they close,
they lock together to create Hand Made Felt.

Some of my other very important occupations include:
Mother, Homemaker, Humanitarian,
Vegetarian, DCCOI Member,
Stylist & Shopkeeper at my
Hand Felting Studio Gallery,
Donegal Craft Village.

How did I get here?

  • 1995

    University of Ulster, Belfast

    I was introduced to handmade felt when studying for a BA Honours Degree in Textile Art. My student years were spent experimenting with wool to make 3D felt forms and abstract art. I progressed towards wearable pieces for my final year collection and these were awarded by fashion designers Tristan Webber, Andrew Groves and Pearce Fionda at the Northern Irish Final of the Smirnoff Fashion Awards.

    Further studies on a Postgraduate course, led me to try drawing with wool and I became inspired by an abstract artist who made felted pictures in the 1970’s/1980’s. I held onto the notion for twenty years before I finally acted upon it…

  • 2008

    Awakening

    After some globe trotting and various jobs, I moved to Donegal, and felt ready to reignite my artistic energy. Living in the countryside, seemed to slow things down and make room for my creativity to emerge.  I got a job that allowed my artistic expression to unleash…

    My window displays, in a well known tweed shop, led to much fascination from locals and beyond. My creativity was back in flow! I loved my work, but something inside was stirring, where do I go from here?

    I decided that I was going to make felt pictures ‘that come from the heart’.

  • 2014

    Sabbatical

    After nine months of exploring hand made felt as a medium for picture making, as well as sketching, cycling, running, meditating and getting to know myself a bit more, I completed my first collection of hand felted original landscapes. I opened ‘The Fishing Tackle Gallery’ – a summer pop-up shop in Donegal Town. This is where I held my first exhibition of wool pictures called, ‘Felt Like Home’. The interaction of people to my art work was a gorgeous moment – one that I will always remember and be thankful for.

  • 2015

    Hand Felting Studio Gallery

    On a hot summer’s day my Mum and Myself opened my gallery door at the Donegal Craft Village – A place to sell my art work and a warm, bright, cosy studio (wish come true). To this day, I see my studio as ‘my little nook’, my creative space where I can get messy and make  – I love it!

    I get to chat to gallery visitors and I very much welcome the lovely comments and ‘wow’! statements which I hear often. I am truly grateful for my gallery and studio and relish every moment of my time spent there.

  • 2021

    Gratitude

    I am forever indebted to my family and friends who continue to support and help me on my art business endeavours.  Especially my Mum, who has been behind me all the way… My Fiancé (who came in as a customer once and left with a new felt picture and secret smile), and our beautiful Daughter, who inspires us all with her magical spirit everyday.

    Thanks to my lovely customers, I have been able to sustain a living as an artist and maker and my wish is to continue delivering inspirational, authentic art that connects to my soul, connects fibres and connects people.