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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Twining

Yesterday my local Spinners Weavers and Dyers group ran a workshop with Mary Crabb, making fabulous little baskets and pods using a traditional basket weaving technique, twining. Traditionally this is used with willow and yarn but we were a bit more textile focussed (naturally 🙂 ) so gravitated towards using yarns throughout.

In the morning we started by working in the round, as with most things, getting started was the tricky bit but after that, the rhythmic weaving in and out became quite hypnotic. These are a few of the “creatures” we made:

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This one I particularly liked, I think Janine Rees made it:

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And this was my little offering, all of these pieces were only 2-3 inches across:

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In the afternoon we moved onto a different technique for the base, ironically this is my favourite part of the little vase I made but is the bit you are least likely to see:

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These are the group’s creations mid construction (I don’t think anyone managed to complete their second piece before we had to leave but Mary very generously let us take extra materials home so we could finish our pieces at our leisure):

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This is my finished piece, the tension went a little bit wonky around the middle of the bulb but I’m still really pleased with it, I would like to make this again on a larger scale:

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Feeling inspired by the workshop, I started to make a felt bowl with the intention of twining fibres in and out of slits made in the sides. I really love this blue slubby yarn but it just doesn’t look right on this pod, it’s a bit too thick. It will be replaced with some hemp yarns I have just ordered, I am thinking 2 or three sets of twining spaced out unevenly across the slits…

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I hadn’t realised what it was called when I made these pieces a couple of years ago but I have used twining with felt before, it’s funny how things come full circle…

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Grand Canyon

This is a wall hanging that I started just after Christmas after thinking about a taking a trip to the Grand Canyon, the trip never materialised but the images from my research stayed with me. The different coloured rock strata are just plain beautiful.

This was my interpretation of it, it’s no where close to matching the scale of the Grand canyon, but its a reasonable sized piece of felt at approx 2 ft x 2 ft.

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My first issue was the edges, they look very untidy in their native state, with various layers poking out from under the red “earth”. So I tried cutting them back to reveal all of the layers and straighten them up a little. This is the first edge cut:

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I like the wiggly lines of the different layers in the cut edge but I’m still not happy with it as a wall hanging. I wonder if it is the white? Is the contrast too severe? What would you do with it?

I’ve also been trying to use some of the screen printed prefelt that is starting to pile up around me, I decided to use these two pieces to make journal covers:

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But was a little disappointed that both images faded / disappeared during the fulling 🙁

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I expect they can both be rescued, the geckos with some embroidery and / or needle felting, the pink one with some more printing with a darker colour. It’s just a bit frustrating to see you beautiful print disappear before your eyes…

Parrot-Eating Sea Monster part 4

Ceci had the inspired idea of adding orange patches over the sea monster’s back, sadly it was too late to wet felt these in but they did lend themselves rather well to needle felting, I really like the final effect and will definitely be doing this again.

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We also shortened the eye stalks and straightened out the spines on the back so he looks more like Boris Johnson (London Mayor) and less like Phil Spector in Be My Baby:

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And Phil Spector’s perm, as told by his song Be My Baby*
Phil Spector in Be My Baby

 

I’m really pleased with this cave and a little sad to see him go to his new home, but I am sure he will be loved.

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Today I started working on the stacked boxes hat again, and hope to have something worth sharing with you by Sunday. I also made a start on using some of the printed felt from the screen printing course, the pile is getting a little bit excessive (it is even starting to rival my ironing pile, and that takes some doing!) so I have promised myself to use at least a third of it before I am allowed to venture back into the dyeing shed again…

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