Exciting News

I learned early this week that my piece “After the ice ” has been accepted into the From the Earth exhibition in June.  The exhibition is to celebrate natural and ethical textile practices and will take place in PA Arts Centre Datchworth, Herts.

I am thrilled.  I even get invited to the private viewing !  Here is the piece that will be on display.

 

After-the-Ice

Other artists that I know are taking part at this moment are Jenny Leslie and Caroline Bell.

This great news has made me revisit some of my other favorite naturally dyed felt pieces and I thought it was worth bringing them all together here.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

Madder dyed shell vessel

Madder dyed shell vessel

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Autumn Storm

Dawn Light

Dawn Light

I love the subtle shade changes in these pieces I hope you do too.

 

 

Finishing 

I have had a good week , finishing, or at least seeing  the way forward to finishing a number of pieces.

I have got my sewing machine back in action and stitched these two brooches, they both remind me of ice .

  
Out walking today there was lots of snow and ice  at one of my favorite places Easedale tarn.

  
  
I found some nice simple wooden frames in Hobbycraft which fit my stitched felt squares perfectly.  I only bought two as a trial , but they are perfect , I will be back for more soon.

   
I have also been hand stitching . 

This little beauty contains a vintage  button and now has some lines of beads to finish it. 

All in all a good week , some wonderful walking and lots of felt finishing . 

How to restart ?

Well after a successful move back to the UK , followed by two weeks unpacking , and a family Christmas and New Year,  I need to start felting again.  In truth we are far from unpacked but the essentials are sorted and now is mostly just a question of time before some modifications to the house can be organized and its dry enough to tackle the jungle of the garden

I have temporarily installed my sewing machine on a small table in the study and put a felting table in the conservatory so nothing is stopping me – except I am not sure what to do !  Before I left the Netherlands I put in my pop up felting studio, some jewellery making partial felt and some beads , but I am not inspired to make any jewellery right now.   I have in my stash of fibres some beautiful fibres that I bought from Meervilt, it’s a mix of European steenschaap and New Zealand Merino and is lovely and bouncy.    I think tomorrow having found these fibres in my sea of unpacked boxes I shall make some felt samples and hopefully that will act as a spring board for greater things.  

  
I am off to a masterclass at Artybird on Thursday so I also need to get some work together to take to that , realistically the only thing I can take in my small autumn pieces which I have been embroidering over that last month .  This  has been more of a stitching practise than anything else.  

  

I also have this cheerful bright piece where I am in progress with some gold stitching.

    
Tomorrow felting samples in my conservatory overlooking my water soaked jungley garden , that how I am going to restart and I will see where it takes me. 

Ripples

I am fascinated by light and water and I am always taking photographs of streams.  Here is one series that I took , a few miles walk up Far Easedale, in the Lake District , UK.


I decided after numerous attempts to draw this photograph which were really unsuccessful to try felting using prefelts incorporating various fibres using just yellow and black merino .


First step , so far so good , but it needed more
 Here I am testing the idea of couching some yellow wool onto the piece.  I choose not to go down this route but to machine embroider with some variegated yellow thread and then hand stitch in black.

Finally I added some orange highlights.  To me the finished piece contains some elements of my sunny stream and I think looks great in a black IKEA frame but the glass is so reflective it does not make a good photo so I photographed it with the mount before I fitted the frame .

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.

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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