Dabney uses a traditional wet-processing technique to make her hand-made felt. Each piece has 6-12 layers of carded wool, arranged in perpendicular layers with careful attention to building a unique palette within each piece. Many of the felts include inclusions of previously felted wool, or luxury fibers such as silk or mohair. Once the dry design is laid out, Dabney adds olive oil soap gel, water, and agitation. Carefully moving the wet fibers allows them to open and entangle with one another, making a thick, dense fabric. Each individual flat piece of felt takes from 3-7 hours to create, depending which elements are used and how complex the imagery is. Dimensional framed art uses multiple pieces cut, stitched, and manipulated to create the final work.
Dabney will be joined on the Tour this year by ceramicist, and high school friend, Margaret McNett.