The Aliens Are Coming!

Alright, of course I am teasing, but Mr TB has nicknamed my latest offering the “Alien Signpost”. This is by far the largest piece of felt I have ever made, it was about 1.5 x 1.2 m (5 ft x 4 ft) when first laid out. It has proved to be quite a challenge, firstly just reaching the middle to lay out the surface decoration but also when trying to move it / roll it up, it was just such handful!

It also took an incredibly long time to lay out the design too, about 8 hours including the time it took to card the wools for the background.

When finished it will be a felt hanging and was based on a monoprint I made on some handmade paper last year.

It is still at the prefelt stage, I allowed it to dry out so I could deal with a couple of prefelts that weren’t adhering as strongly as I would like and needle felt some finer details before fulling. This is what it currently looks like:
I am expecting the colours to become muted during fulling as the paler background colours migrate to the front.

Busy Week

It’s been another busy week but unfortunately not in a creative way, my day job has been going more than a bit crazy. It’s been as much as I can do to make myself eat something before crashing into bed each evening. This weekend I have really thrown myself into textiles to make up for an otherwise rubbish week. It has been a very productive weekend though…

Mr TB was out on a stag night on Saturday so I put the evening to good use, watching trashy TV while applying wax to an apron I rainbow dyed with blues and greens that morning:

This is the batik pattern I have been doodling, it’s taking a surprisingly long time, 4 hours so far and I’m only half way finished…

I plan to over-dye this with a deep purple and then spray with plasti-dip spray to waterproof it so I have a felting / dyeing apron (no more soggy felter’s middle for me!).

I have finished a couple of C&G “samples” that I started last weekend, the assignment is to explore natural wools with a view to creating a wall hanging but to my mind these pieces are too large (approx 40 x 60 cm / 16 x 24″) to be samples and I like them as wall hangings in their own right:

Do you remember this piece of ice-dyed felt from a few weeks ago?

I turned it into a bag, this is the front flap: 

Inside the front flap:

I plan to do a lot of hand embroidery on this piece, mostly blanket stitch around the edges and bit of embellishment on the front flap. If I can get it finished in time I will submit it to the Yarns in the Cathedral exhibition in May.

And finally, some blue tits have been showing a lot of interest in the bird pod I hung a couple of weeks ago. I can’t decide if they are nesting in it or just stealing the cat fluff I put in it as welcome present…

Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday

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

Little Bird House

Over the winter our resident squirrels finally destroyed one of our wooden bird boxes, they had been chewing on it for years but this year they finally broke in an detached it from the tree.

I’ve been making a few felt pods recently and thought one might translate well into a bird house. My only concern is that the squirrels will probably destroy a wool pod in a fraction of the time it took them to ruin the wooden bird house. I will have to find a squirrel-proof location for it.

I started with a tear-drop shaped resist and used 4 layers of merino for my first attempt. Unfortunately I made the hole too low and over stretched it while fulling the inside the pod. I think that pod will become a suspended bowl / pod.

For my second attempt I used strips of red muslin, green merino and grey gotland. This is what it looked like just after removing the resist and before a quick spin in the washing machine.

And after it came out of the machine. As before the grey gotland has consumed everything else, including the muslin:

I selected a spot on the side of the cabin that hopefully the squirrels won’t be able to get to, here is the pod in situ:

I added some fluff groomed from my cat as extra encouragement for the birds to move in but only time will tell if my pod is up to avian standards….

Lest We Forget

I am feeling very chuffed, one of the pieces I submitted to the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers National Exhibiton has been accepted. Fancy that, a feltmaker being accepted to a juried show of weaving and dyeing!

I have been itching to share this piece with you for several weeks but couldn’t in case one of the jurors saw it.

This piece was inspired from a combination of some sketches I made of poppy seed pods from the garden and the realisation that 2014 is the centenary of the start of World War I.

They all cried out a very obvious vase shape to me:

Initially I planned to make this vase using a resist method but then I had a brainwave and thought of a way to interpret my willow weaving skills into felt and after a small test piece, created “Lest We Forget”. The vase shape was woven from cords of white merino and then dyed with acid dyes.

This is the work in progress:

The red and black colours were chosen as the traditional colours of the poppy flower but they also represent the unnecessary blood shed and millions of deaths that occurred not only during WWI but in countless wars since.

If you would like to see this piece in person, it will be on display at “Yarns in the Cathedral” in the Hostry of Norwich Cathedral from 15 May to 1 June 2014.

Linking up to nina-marie

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