Remnant

Remnant.  I like this word.  I like the sound and I like the meaning.   A remnant is defined as  a small part that is left over after the majority has been used.   I have lots of remnants I have bought as bargains but most of my remnants are true left overs. 

  
Having made these felt squares from a long abandoned felt jacket , as you can imagine , I had lots of remnants. 

 I thought perhaps they could be become part of another felt piece.  Maybe combining then with some natural white Shetland would be an interesting experiment.

I choose a selection of remnants , looking here a bit like tombstones.  

 I laid out Shetland fibres. 

And a felted the two together.  

After drying the piece needed to be stitched.  

A choose to use the same collection of stitches I had used in my felt squares , but have allowed the stitching to escape from the constraints of the remnants and invade the Shetland background.

 

This is not completely finished yet , but I am pleased with the effect. Using remnants really appeals to me , making something out of the left overs instead of throwing them away .  

Why is small best ?

For the last few months I have been struggling to make large felted vessels using Shetland and BFL fibres.  I thought I had tracked down the problem to the resist I was using.  It was a slightly improved laminate floor underlay with a green backing full of  tiny indentations.  My side by side experiments showed that this resist slowed down the felting process and resulted in a bigger final piece.  Strange but true as these two vases below show.  Identical in all respects the one on the left is made with the green resist and is larger and has poorer quality felt.

  
So armed with what I thought was the solution and a new cheaper slipperier resist I tried again.  

Worse than ever !!  Full of holes.  Poor quality felt.

Some of this I put down to the Shetland fibre I was using which seems repel water and soap not matter how hard I try.  I was so frustrated I cut the holey vessel up and threw it in the washing machine for a couple of cycles.  Then I thought well maybe it can be reborn so it has now been up cycled into this naturally dyed landscape.

  

But I still want to make vessels , so I tried again, this time small.  One in BFL and one in Shetland.  I stitched them both and dyed them with onion skins.  I love the results , they are about 10cm tall. I just wish I could reproduce them at a slightly larger scale .   

It anyone has any ideas what is causing my problem I’d love to hear from you.