Adding Dimension

This quarter, the FFS challenge is to add dimension to our felt, on the face of it I should find this challenge easy, almost everything I make is 3D in nature but that rather seems to defeat the purpose, after all, surely a challenge should be just that! 🙂

Last weekend I had a mini epiphany; I really like the effect of shibori felt like the brooch below but using the “tie in a stone/button/marble technique” is not very practical when you are creating a 3D object over a resist as you need extra felt to stretch over the inclusions and it invariably makes the surrounding felt uneven too. I woke up on Sunday morning and my first thought was to create these cup shapes separately and then attach them to the main piece of felt. Is it really sad that I am now dreaming about felt?

This was the piece made with the separate resists. It was very slow work making these 7 little cups and I’m not sure I will use this method a lot but it was interesting to try and I’m happy with the result.

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This box is quite large, just shy of a foot square and 5 inches tall.

I wanted to make a small bowl inspired by this pine cone, it started out as a bowl but I clearly wasn’t concentrating while laying out the flaps and spikes so it became a pod instead… 🙂

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Finally, I started working on a new vest top that I have been thinking about since attending a dress-making course with Cristina Pacciani at the beginning of July, it still needs some shaping in the back and around the collar but you can already see all the texture from the silk and felt ropes laid under the silk. Originally I was going to make this in royal blue chiffon but then decided white habouti would better showcase the different textures.

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What are you planning for the 3rd quarter challenge?

Bearberry Bark

I was wasting a very happy half hour surfing images on pinterest when I cam across this image of madrone AKA bearberry bark, the colours were so vivid and beautiful I just had to interpret it into a piece of felt!

found on http://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/

This is it laid out after the first few hundred rolls:

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And blocking after removing the resists and sealing the cut edges:

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And finally, mounted on some stretcher bars:

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I just love the zingy-ness of the lime green next to the berry reds and purples. This definitely an energetic piece of wall art!

While waiting for the stretcher bars for the Bearberry Bark haning, I have also been working on some journal covers, adding some needle-felting to the screen-printed gecko cover from a couple of weeks ago and some new nuno felted covers from recycled sari fabrics. The gecko cover looks a little wonky because there isn’t a book inside it yet to stretch it out to a rectangular shape.

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Finito!

It’s been a busy week but my challenge piece is finally finished! 🙂

Since my last post I added some embroidery to sharpen up the edges of the orange prefelts. First I had to choose some threads, I’m a big fan of the Gutterman Sulky threads for machine embroidery, they are reliably strong and have a lovely sheen that looks wonderful next to felt.

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I started with the orange stripes in the top left quadrant.

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I’m really pleased with the colour blending of the threads and the beautiful 3D effect you get from this style of stitching on felt.

Of course, it’s impossible to stop at one small area when you start with free motion embroidery….
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  When I went to bed it looked like this:

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When I woke up this morning I looked at it again and took it back to the sewing machine – spot the differences….

I have been planning to hang this piece on stretcher bars from the start. Most of my felt hangings are sturdy enough to stretch directly over the frame but this one is a bit finer, it might be alright but I don’t think it is worth risking it stretching and sagging in the middle so I hand stitched some poplin cotton to the back for extra support.

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Before stretching it over the bars ready for hanging:
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Where has the time gone?

Gosh, I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since I last posted. It has been a hectic few weeks of working on my City and Guilds assignments and chasing my own tail.

Here are some of the C&G things I have been up to as part of my Artybird course.

Do you recall the “Alien Signpost” piece I started a couple of months back? After much debate (no two people had the same idea about how I should cut it or hang it) I settled on the portrait version with the “torn paper” edge along the bottom.

It is a large piece (173 x 92cm / 5’8″ x 3′) that I think would look fantastic in a stairwell (shame I live in a bungalow).

I’m really pleased with how this piece turned out even though the integral hanging sleeve is in the wrong orientation! Note to self: don’t bother with integral hanging sleeves on abstract pieces, you’re always going to want to hang it on a different edge to the one you have planned! 😉

More recently I have been working on an assignment based on John Constable’s Cloud Studies. I confess I hadn’t appreciated just how prolific a painter he was, many of them are described as sketches but still stunning in their own right. Our assignment was to prepare some pastel drawings on different coloured backgrounds and then use those colours to make felt samples.

These are my pastel sketches.

 Dark blue paper

Light blue paper

Brown paper

All these sketches were derived from the same Constable painting but each has a very different feel, I think the middle one feels like the skies are clearing after a storm and has a freshness about it, while the other 2 feel like the storm is still building.

I was also very drawn to a painting of cirrus clouds, I just love the sense of movement and direction the white lines give this sketch.

And these are the pieces interpreted into felt, firstly with Norwegian wool:

And merino:

Next time – I revert back to my childhood and use wax crayons…

Pink Pea Pod Bag

Here is another of the bags I have been working on recently. I’m really pleased with how this one turned out, so much so that I think I will make some more in different colour combinations and sizes.

It was made from a mixture of commercially dyed merino and hand-dying the finished bag.

There are 4 pockets inside.
 And another inside the flap

A close up of the “pea pods”

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday
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