Stags Rutting at Sunset

I always have several pieces of work on the go at any one time, I find the creative process works best when I can flit between what inspires me most at any one moment. If something isn’t developing the way I had envisioned, I can put it down and work on something else instead. Coming back to it with “fresh eyes” a few days later usually reveals a solution. Here is a piece that I started nearly 4 months ago. It is an amalgamation of two photos, I loved the combination of the romance of the subject combined with the drama of the sunset.



This piece has been wet felted using the inlay technique (cutting shapes from pre-felt) for the stag silhouettes. As you can see I used Moy Mackay’s technique of laying the coloured wool roving over a white batt and as is often the case, the white fibres have migrated through to the front during felting process, reducing the intensity of the colours and detracting from the drama of the piece.

All is not lost, I plan to do some needle felting to sharpen up the silhouettes of the stags and correct the colours in the sunset.

Felt Ropes and Balls

I think I mentioned that I started a City and Guilds course in Feltmaking in August this year. It’s a distance learning course with ArtyBird, a textile school in Lancashire and so far it has been interesting, it has challenged me to work in ways that I probably would never have considered on my own, especially the design elements.

Part of this month’s assignment is to create ropes and balls, with a leaning towards making felt jewellery. So far I have created a necklace and cuff that I am proud of and a bracelet that I’m still feeling indifferent toward and a second necklace that was nothing short of a disaster. Here are the pieces I like and would be prepared to wear myself:

I still want to add some stitching (staggered blanket stitch) to the border of the cuff.

This is the bracelet I neither like or dislike:

And this is the disaster. It started out looking very promising with different coloured rope cores encased within a dark brown shell – it started life as a thick rope that was cut into discs and sewn together in a string. This is it before it became a mushy mess, all the colours are still clear and the discs haven’t turned into amorphous blobs yet:

I tried all sorts to get the discs to harden. Wet felting for over an hour, on and in the roller blind, rubbing on bubble wrap and the blind, felter’s rolling pin and finally the tumble drier. All that has happened is the colours have all blended together to shades of a dark brown, the discs have lost their shape and they still feel mushy!!

Not exactly jewellery (yet) but this is a multicoloured felt ball, perhaps with some beads and stitching it could make a nice pendant?

Felt Ropes and Balls

I think I mentioned that I started a City and Guilds course in Feltmaking in August this year. It’s a distance learning course with ArtyBird, a textile school in Lancashire and so far it has been interesting, it has challenged me to work in ways that I probably would never have considered on my own, especially the design elements.

Part of this month’s assignment is to create ropes and balls, with a leaning towards making felt jewellery. So far I have created a necklace and cuff that I am proud of and a bracelet that I’m still feeling indifferent toward and a second necklace that was nothing short of a disaster. Here are the pieces I like and would be prepared to wear myself:

I still want to add some stitching (staggered blanket stitch) to the border of the cuff.

This is the bracelet I neither like or dislike:

And this is the disaster. It started out looking very promising with different coloured rope cores encased within a dark brown shell – it started life as a thick rope that was cut into discs and sewn together in a string. This is it before it became a mushy mess, all the colours are still clear and the discs haven’t turned into amorphous blobs yet:

I tried all sorts to get the discs to harden. Wet felting for over an hour, on and in the roller blind, rubbing on bubble wrap and the blind, felter’s rolling pin and finally the tumble drier. All that has happened is the colours have all blended together to shades of a dark brown, the discs have lost their shape and they still feel mushy!!

Not exactly jewellery (yet) but this is a multicoloured felt ball, perhaps with some beads and stitching it could make a nice pendant?

New Beginnings or mid-life crisis?

Hello

I am hoping this blog will mark a new direction in my life. I am currently a project manager for a pharmaceutical company but have always loved crafts and making things, even in primary school the only lesson I looked forward to was Art.

I did embark on a BTEC in Art and Design when I was 16 but, as with most people, my family weren’t that supportive. However, they did tolerate my decision but were no doubt relieved when, at the end of my first year one of my tutors suggested I gave it up and trained as a veterinary nurse instead (pets and medicine being the other passions in my life).

I have taken a very circuitous route to get to this point. It all started with taking a year out to go back-packing, that led to my being turned down for permanent residency in Australia (I did not hold a degree), which in turn led to me studying for a BSc in Microbiology. I was offered a PhD in vaccine research which was too good to turn down and by the time I had completed that, at the grand old age of 31, I was now too old for Aussie immigration!  I have spent the last 9 years working in clinical research and while I love the feeling that what I do has the potential to ease suffering and improve the quality of life for millions of people my creative side doesn’t feel at all fulfilled.

Does anyone else feel like this? I know I should be deliriously happy just to have a job in the current economic climate, let alone one that pays well and is able to produce the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing you are doing something to help others. But I can’t help feeling there is something missing.

I reached a significant birthday this year, perhaps this is all just a mid-life crisis?

If money were no object I think I would give up the day job and spend my days crafting and giving away what I had made. Unfortunately I have not won the lottery (I don’t even play it), and I haven’t inherited millions so I need a plan B. My dream is to work in pharmaceuticals part time (3 days per week) and spend 3 days per week making and selling what I have created.

What would you do if money were no object?

I plan to use this blog to document my journey as a designer-maker. Wish me luck….

New Beginnings or mid-life crisis?

Hello

I am hoping this blog will mark a new direction in my life. I am currently a project manager for a pharmaceutical company but have always loved crafts and making things, even in primary school the only lesson I looked forward to was Art.

I did embark on a BTEC in Art and Design when I was 16 but, as with most people, my family weren’t that supportive. However, they did tolerate my decision but were no doubt relieved when, at the end of my first year one of my tutors suggested I gave it up and trained as a veterinary nurse instead (pets and medicine being the other passions in my life).

I have taken a very circuitous route to get to this point. It all started with taking a year out to go back-packing, that led to my being turned down for permanent residency in Australia (I did not hold a degree), which in turn led to me studying for a BSc in Microbiology. I was offered a PhD in vaccine research which was too good to turn down and by the time I had completed that, at the grand old age of 31, I was now too old for Aussie immigration!  I have spent the last 9 years working in clinical research and while I love the feeling that what I do has the potential to ease suffering and improve the quality of life for millions of people my creative side doesn’t feel at all fulfilled.

Does anyone else feel like this? I know I should be deliriously happy just to have a job in the current economic climate, let alone one that pays well and is able to produce the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing you are doing something to help others. But I can’t help feeling there is something missing.

I reached a significant birthday this year, perhaps this is all just a mid-life crisis?

If money were no object I think I would give up the day job and spend my days crafting and giving away what I had made. Unfortunately I have not won the lottery (I don’t even play it), and I haven’t inherited millions so I need a plan B. My dream is to work in pharmaceuticals part time (3 days per week) and spend 3 days per week making and selling what I have created.

What would you do if money were no object?

I plan to use this blog to document my journey as a designer-maker. Wish me luck….

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