Fiona Duthie Surface Design Workshop

I signed up for Fiona Duthie’s online suface design workshop a few weeks and it started last week and I have to say I am loving it! Although many of the techniques we have covered so far are already familiar to me, Fiona has some quirky suggestions for how to use the techniques that I am finding very refreshing and stimulating. It looks like we will be covering 2 or 3 techniques each week and coming to the end of week 2 I am loving combining the different techniques in new ways.

While I don’t feel it would be fair to Fiona to share the actual techniques here I think it is ok to show some of the results….

I plan to add some stitching to this piece to highlight the setting sun on the left and make the foreground look more like a beach.

I still need to do quite a lot of needle-felting details onto the turtle’s head and legs and I will add more texture to the “rock” with some stitching but am pleased with how this piece is coming along.

Fabric Bowls

After making a felt and scrim fabric bowl a few weeks ago I have been experimenting with alternative ways of stiffening fabrics. The water soluble fabric worked well and has produced a moderately stiff bowl but I am concerned that if it gets wet it will loose its shape and possibly its strength too.

As an alternative I have been experimenting with PVA glue (commonly used in schools for art classes and also known as wood glue).

Here is a bowl made from 4 layers of rainbow dyed scrim, machine embroidery for decoration and PVA glue.

A close up of the embroidered centre:

However, it is still quite malleable…

I would like to stiffen it some more, but am not sure how, some possibilities include threading coloured wires through the fabric or spraying with a diluted mix of acrylic medium but I’m not sure I really like either idea. Do any of you clever people have better /other ideas?

Commissions

For my last City and Guilds assignment I needed to work with a client to develop a scarf to their specifications, in true Teri tradition I didn’t stop at the one scarf needed to complete that assignment, I ended up creating 3 scarves for different people, all with very different results but interestingly very similar colour schemes. This has been a brilliant journey, and a lot of fun working with some good friends to develop their ideas and realise them into felt and fabric.

The first one was for a good friend, unfortunately she’s a bit photo-phobic so I don’t have any photos of her in her new scarf but I was so pleased with how her scarf turned out that I sought out some more “clients” to work with, and found 2 more willing guinea-pigs.

This is the first scarf, it is a reversible snood with a button to help mould the hood to the head when up. She wanted something warm that would offer some protection from wind and rain in purple / fuchsia pink.

This is the silk side:

This is the felt side showing some of the silk hanky decoration:

A better photo of the silk hanky decorations, these catch the light beautifully:

Having enjoyed the process of working with someone else so much, I went in search of my next victimclient, Juliet, a friend from work volunteered her services.

She wanted a  floaty, decorative scarf. After looking at some samples and finished scarves she selected nuno-felted silk. After lots of discussion (and I think some influence from Tam) we settled on an infinity scarf design.

This is Juliet wearing her new creation:

My third guinea-pig was Tam, another friend from work. She was quite clear from the outset that she wanted an infinity scarf, after looking at a selection of dyed fabrics she settled on the purple stripy cotton scrim (visible as the lowest fold in the photo) with wool in purples and reds with some orangey-red silk hankies for decoration.

I’m really pleased with how they all turned out, all very different and hopefully a reflection of their new owners’ personalities! Thank you all for helping me to complete this assignment, it has been a lot of fun.

Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday

Fourth Quarter Challenge

As some of you may know, the ladies of Felting and Fibre Studio post a felting challenge each quarter. For this quarter the challenge is to create something with an autumn theme. I am definitely inspired by the colours of the trees at the moment, just driving to work I want to say ooh and ahh at all the beautiful colours. I am so lucky to have a drive that takes me through deciduous woodlands and along tree lined roads.

I have to admit that I am not at all inspired by Zed’s suggestion that autumn evokes thoughts of damp and decay! Yuck!! I will stick to the lovely autumnal colours of the trees 🙂

Here is my autumn leaf-inspired shawl. It is constructed from rainbow dyed cotton scrim with a thin layer of merino top laid out in different colours with streaks of yellow bamboo fibre as an accent colour and to give some sheen. To this I added about 40 leaf shapes cut out of prefelt and embellished with yarns that I needle-felted to represent the veins on the leaves.

On the reverse I laid out a similar pattern of merino tops and bamboo fibre but without the leaves that took soooo long to cut out and needle-felt with their wool veins.

All of this was wet felted together and I love the result. The yellow bamboo has worked really well and adding a thin layer of wool to both sides of the cotton scrim gives it a lovely soft and warm feel while being thin enough to still drape beautifully.

Is it perverse of me to like the reverse side (without the leaves) better than the front?!!