Q1 Challenge for 2016 – initial thoughts

The lovely ladies at the Felting and Fiber Studio have just posted the first challenge for 2016. This year the challenges will focus on different techniques, for Q1 the technique is resists…. more info can be found on their site here.

I use resists in almost all of my felt work so making a simple vessel, bag or applying a cracked mud design to a piece feels a bit like cheating, this is meant to be a challenge after all.

I have been an admirer of Australian felt artist, Sue Smorthwaite’s work since I met her on a workshop with Fiona Duthie last year, when thinking about this challenge my thoughts kept returning to this piece in particular.

Sue Smorthwaite – Weighted Untruths

So, interlocking chains were high on my wish list for this piece. I settled on a hat and started sketching ideas and opted for this version (apologies for the scruffy sketch, this was just me jotting down ideas).

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Sue appears to have stuffed the links of her chains, while I can do that for the rings that rest on the head, I fear stuffing the dangling rings will make it too heavy so will need to find an alternative solution, either fulling the felt so that it is stiff enough to hold the ring shape or applying some fabric stiffener. I expect I will need a combination of the two.

Cutting out the resists:

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Covering with wool and adding some decoration to make the “chains” appear to be rusty:IMG_5774 IMG_5775

This piece is already proving to be a little argumentative, the links that should remain loose and moveable keep trying to felt to each other and the rings that I need to felt together are doing their best to resist felting.

What do you have in mind for your challenge piece?

2 comments

  1. Way cool! I haven’t gotten as far as making a plan and I think your sketch is very nice, not scruffy. I am really looking forward to seeing the hat when it’s finished.

    1. Thank you Ruth, I confess I am already hatching another couple of ideas. Can’t wait to see where you take this challenge though…

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