Friday 12 October 2018

Back to Felting

I have dabbled in a number of different things creatively over the last few months, and I seem to have found my way back to felting.  I'll admit, I fell out of love with it a bit - I wanted to move forward with it but wasn't sure how.

I have very much enjoyed doing the collage work that I have completed lately with fabrics and paper, so I'm starting to play with that idea with felting.

I have stuck with my sketchbook, or idea book as I prefer to call it, and started off with a rough idea on paper - I also did some felt sampling.  I had recently bought a few new 'supplies', and I love this piece of red sari silk.  I wanted to see how it would felt just laid on top of fibres, and it worked really well.

sampling some materials in felting, including sari silk, ribbon, fibre paper, and gold gauze

So my 'collage sketch' was of a vase of flowers -  very much inspired by the last few flowers that I brought in from the garden before the bad weather arrived.  Those golden helichrysums, or straw flowers, are particularly lovely.

My inspiration...

A starting point on paper...

Sketchbook collage using papers, felt sample, gesso, paints,  chiffon and stitch

I wanted to make it simple with cleaner lines, a limited colour palette, a slight abstract feel and lots of surface texture.

I love the laying out stage and incorporating lots of extras to hopefully give some interesting textures.

There were a couple of felting stages to this one, and the picture below shows elements layered up together, wetted down and ready for a final felting session.

This is the finished picture...'Golden Blooms'

'Golden Blooms'

Showing that sari silk, which felted in so well on top of wool fibres.

Chiffon dyed with onion skins, with the inevitable french knots!

I tried to balance the picture with echoes of the gold and red repeated in areas of the felt.  The gold fibre paper did felt in initially, but unfortunately some of the gold colour leeched out during the felting process, so lost its sparkle - I therefore collaged some more on once all the felting was completed.

The flowers are made from some of the chiffon that I dyed myself with onion skins - it's such a lovely colour!  Woolen french knots (of course!) make the flower centres.

I'm pleased with this as a starting point for some more felting.  The biggest challenge was the limited colour palette and trying to stick to that grey, cream, red and gold.  I can have a tendency to throw lots of colours at work, but restricting what you could use was actually strangely liberating!

What's next...

I've got a feel for the felt again, so will try another collage inspired piece.

I've got a couple of more collage sketches, one of which is below, which I'm going to use in a similar way, and I'm going to stick with a restricted palette again, but think I could do more with incorporating surface texture.  

The collage sketches are done very quickly, without thinking too deeply.  I just grab a pile of papers, threads and paints and rip, snip and stick away.  It was a method that helped inspire me for 'Golden Blooms', so hopefully it will be successful with this one!

There are a couple of things with 'Golden Blooms' that I feel I could have done better, so hopefully I can take those things forward to the next felting session!

It's a constant learning curve...

Thanks for reading and feel free to say 'hello' below, it's always nice to hear from those that follow this blog!

Best wishes

Tanya xxx