My first felt pictures with my new natural dye method are based on the tun house at the Peak Alum works in Ravenscar, UK. Really I should say based on the remains of the tun house. Today this is all you can see.
Helpfully a drawing by the National trust gives an idea of what the tun house would have looked like in the 17th century. I choose this place because it is beautiful and today is quiet and peaceful,. Once the Alum it produced was an essential component of the natural dyeing process and it would have been smelly and dirty. it a good example of the ability of the earth to recover. A like the idea of exploited land recovering and also of this natural dyeing chemistry link across the years.
I choose this place because today it is beautiful and quiet and peaceful. Once the Alum it produced was an essential component of the natural dyeing process and it would have been a smelly and dirty place. It a good example of the ability of the earth to recover from industrial activity. I like the idea of exploited land recovering and also of the natural dyeing chemistry link across the years.
A tun is a barrel and the tun house is where the Alum solution was left to crystallise before being ground into Alum flour for sale.
Inspiration and planning for my felt pictures
I am using the remaining tun house floor stones as my inspiration.
Here is a small collage made from some photos taken from immediately above the stones.
Some sketches followed and of course a plan of which colours to use from my beautiful but limited palette of colours.
I plan is to make four felt pictures.
Making my felt pictures
So with my plan and my naturally dyed stash I am ready to start.
Some prefelts above and below some fibres.
I choose my felt colours and cut prefelt pieces to size placing them on my map.
When I was happy with the layout, I reversed it onto a piece of bubble wrap. All that’s needed then is to fill in the gaps, layout the backing and felt.!!
My next steps
So far I have made three felt pieces. Here is one example.
Now that they are dry I am going to stitch on them, then frame them ready for an exhibition in May. I am both excited and nervous about making and displaying these felt pictures, made using my new techniques, in an exhibition.
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