Worldwide colours of felt

I am delighted that a piece of mine will be appearing in Worldwide colours of felt which is due for publication in June by Textiellink.  I am even more delighted that the piece that was chosen was dyed with madder. There are pictures of felt works from over 500 artists from 40 countries in the book. With this good news it seems an ideal opportunity to look back at how my piece was made.

First I laid out white merino on a resist.
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Then used more resists to add wings and I also added cords.

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The finished vessel was difficult to dry and so I slung it in the garden used a foam roller, an old broom handle and lots of gaffer tape along with skewers to curls the cords.

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Here it is straight out of the dye pot .  I had to tied it up , to make it fit and this also had the benefit of giving a shibori effect.

A close up shows this effect to some extent.

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The final piece as will be seen in Worldwide colours of felt in June.

 

mar 13-13madder shell vessel

Don’t forget to order a copy of the book !

Memories of Artybird

Over the last weeks I have been doing a lot of sorting out and clearing out the mountains of felting I have accumulated.  Some things have headed to the recycling but I have also come across some treasured pieces from my first Artybird felting course.

Sunsets featured prominently in my first course and here are my beginners attempts at dyeing with some very tentative sunset stitching.

One of the great things about the courses was the design work , but there was felting as well


 Two different techniques to felt a sunset !

My first experience of natural fibres , using Shetland , which I have really grown to love.

 Making an embroidered piece, again all hand dyed which if I remember correctly I was told to go back and stitch some more .

 All these pieces are a wonderful reminder of the journey I embarked upon about 5 years ago. I think I have developed a lot (I hope I have ) but I think I can still see the voice I have today in these pieces.

Masham Merino Mixes

I am trying slowly to use more and more British or at least European fibre in my felt and dyeing work.  In pursuit of this aim , I bought some Masham fibre from Adelaide Walker at Woolfest. Creamy white and beautiful brown.

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Although I have this aim I do have  a large stash of coloured merino.   I decided to try working with the coloured merino and the natural Masham together.  I did not physically mix them , but have used them together to make a number of pieces.  The Masham is slightly more coarse than the merino , but they blend together beautifully and I love the mix of natural colors in the Masham with the bright colours of the merino.

Here are my finished mixed pieces.

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and here is a  small one, actually made with left overs before stitching.

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This post has been reissued due to problems with the original posting

 

 

From Photo to Felt

My husband is a keen and talented photographer.  He partakes in Blip photo taking a photograph every day and takes beautiful landscapes often getting up before dawn to catch the light. Occasionally he uses software on his iPad to make composite photographs.  I love the vibrancy, surrealism and the unexpectedness of these pictures and some just cry out to me to be made into felt.

Here is an example.

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I have been experimenting with turning these kind of photos into felt pictures for a while and like to first make a pastel sketch to work from , as it helps me think about the order of the composition.

 

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I make prefelt  and use fabrics in order to get the strong colours and straight lines required .

 

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I always plan to add lots of machine stitching to add texture and details after felting.  Here I am threads at the ready , photo to hand  about to start stitching on my sewing machine.

 

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In thinking about what this piece should be called , I decided to call it Night in the City , reflecting both the piece and a the sentiments of a favorite song of mine by Joni Mitchell.
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My favourite colour

Purple is one of my favourite colours. I wanted to test of some surface decoration effects on a felted vessel. I have done many tests before , but never with the high degree of shrinkage that is needed to make a felted vessel robust enough to stand up. This high degree of shrinkage tend to make the fabrics and yarns that have been added completely disappear, which defeats the objects of adding them is the first place. As a change from the more muted colours obtained by natural dyeing I decided to make this vessel from purple merino.

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My surface effects were dyed scrim , dyed cotton broderie anglaise and purchased purple silk yarn.Laid out these additions can be clearly seen.

After removing my circular resists they are still visible.

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After completing the felting the silk yarn was virtually invisible, and the scrim was now a very subtle effect, well imbedded into the felt. I was right to be concerned that some simple effects would be almost disguised by the process. After some stitching and beading I am however very happy with this finished purple vessel.

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