I am often asked what inspires the pieces I make, the truth is inspiration can strike anywhere, sometimes it is the materials themselves, the pattern on a piece of sari silk or the tassels on a charity-shop scarf for example. Nature is another great source, the textures of a patch of lichen or orange-crimson autumnal leaves against a bright blue sky. Memories from holidays or previous careers such as watching cells growing in a petri dish from my days as a “lab rat”.

As some of you may know, I used to SCUBA dive a lot and frequently draw inspiration for my felting from the underwater world, for my new collection I couldn’t resist the gloriously colourful world of nudiranchs (pronounced noo-dee-branks). I confess I have been slightly obsessed with these little sea slugs for more than 20 years but the usual response when I try to describe them to non-divers is, “noody-what?” Their name means naked gills in latin and refers to the fern-like gill structures you can often see sprouting from their backs.

I love them because they are so outrageously colourful  and don’t seem to care who sees them strutting their stuff in the magical aquatic world. I can’t think of a better muse to create a fabulously colourful set of wearable art, deep down, who wouldn’t want to be a nudibranch? 🙂 If you google “nudibranch photos” you will get a taste of their fantastically beautiful world and the colours will be much less washed out than those in my photos.


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The Pink Dorid nudibranch was my muse for this hat and gloves set.

Now I just need to find a human who is as exuberant and fun-loving as a nudibranch to wear them…. 😉

19 thoughts on “Noody-what?

  1. Absolutely love the sea-slug inspired hat and gloves. You’ve used his wonderful colours to great effect in your design and echoed them beautifully in the gloves. Cleverly thought out.

    1. Thank you, I confess the pink, orange, white combination is not one I would have picked but Dorid wears it so well I couldn’t resist 🙂

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. Love the creatures and you’ve translated them so well into exuberant and beautiful wearables.

    1. Thank you Lindsay, watch this space, there are more noody-inspired wearables on their way 🙂

  3. Ive never thought of a slug as remotely beautiful yet today I saw how fabulous they can be. I can see how their colours inspire fantastic works such as yours. Great read. Thank you. Janet

    1. Thank you Janet, you are so right, I try not to call them sea slugs as most people think of the ugly grey / green slimy things devouring their prize lettuces 🙂

    1. Thank you Kim, I love the pelagics too, there are few things as awe inspiring as diving with sharks and dolphins but they don’t quite pack the colourful punch that the nudibranchs have 🙂

  4. Not only are the nudibranchs cool, the hat & mittens are too! What seems whimsical to us is natural beauty.

  5. Thanks for the great post Teri! It’s nice to see the inspirations behind the wearable art and also nice to learn something new. I never heard of nudibranchs before but I haven’t done any scuba diving or explored the infinite cool photos online of undersea life. So much inspiration anywhere you look, isn’t there? I am sure you will find your nudibranch customer who just loves this set 🙂

    1. Thank you Ruth, it is always a pleasure to bring nudibranchs to a “noody-newbie” 😉 Beware though, once you start browsing underwater photos it is hard to stop, you can loose hours at a time 😮

  6. Love the outcome of your colourful noody-what inspiration Teri.
    I went snorkelling 2 years ago for the first time off Lombok….wow! The colours of the fish, corals anenomes, etc etc are just beautiful, I was totally mesmerised. From that experience I can completely understand how you have such a close relationship with the marine world as your muse.

    1. Thank you Antje, it is hard not to be inspired by the marine world once you have experienced it first hand, I hope your snorkelling trip has inspired your work too?

    1. Thank you Marilyn, I dive with a camera but my photos are generally very poor and washed out (my flash isn’t very good) compared to the professional photos we can so easily access online nowadays

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