Continuing with the “Wearable Art” theme, another project I was working on during lockdown was making wet felted cuffs. You can read all about it over on the Felt & Fibre Studio….. https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2020/08/08/cuffs-and-stuff/
One of my favourite pastimes has to be creating wet felted jewellery. I love the sculptural aspect of felting and when this is combined with small wearable items like necklaces and bangles, each one becomes a miniature piece of sculptural, wearable art.
These pieces were created early on during the lockdown when I came to realise that I was never happier than when I was working with lots of texture and a very simple monotone colour palette. In truth I’ve always known this but somehow it’s been amplified with spending much more time in the studio and noticing that the more colourful work was jarring with me!
The Superfine Merino necklaces are embellished with stitch, beading and tiny pieces of Nuno and finished with metal chain fasteners. The great thing about this technique is that each piece is totally unique, you could never have two pieces alike.
Since I began running workshops I’ve frequently been asked if I do classes for making needle felted animals. Up until now my answer has always been “no, but I can point you in the direction of someone who does”. It’s not that I don’t like needle felting, or animals, it’s just something I have never done and never particularly fancied doing…..up until now!
When I received a request for animal needle felting just before Christmas I decided the time had come to include it in my workshop programme. These are my first needle felted animal workshop samples and I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed making them and feel I’ve really been bitten by the bug!
They were made using wire armatures, wrapped with core wool, and then “cladded” with blended and carded fibres. I can feel a few more hatching so watch this space!
My latest work, Roots, was made in response to a challenge set by the Waltham Textile Group who meet once a month at Waltham Windmill. This is an exhibiting group and, like many such groups, we all aim to produce a piece of work to a particular theme. The work will be displayed together at our bi-annual exhibition at the Windmill next August. Our current theme, leaves, couldn’t suit me better! There are absolutely no limitations for this main piece, it can be any size, any technique, 3D or 2D. This freedom in itself can be a headache because there are so many directions you can go in……..consequently I’ve yet to start that piece!
Running alongside our main theme we also have other, more specific, “challenges”. One of them is to produce three A4 pieces of work using three colours, each piece to predominantly feature one of those colours plus a little of the other two. This can be any style, any technique and any subject matter. You can see how I approached this challenge in a previous post “work in progress” and Roots is the result of that challenge.
Originally I made three wet felted backgrounds to which I was going to add lots of texture with fibre and stitch. The felt was put to one side for a few weeks while I did other things and by the time I went back to it I had changed my mind (surprise, surprise!). Instead of using the felt I reached for my roll of Lutradur, practising what I preach and using the techniques and materials demonstrated in my Forest Floor Workshop.
It turned out to be a very mixed media piece with felted pebbles, free motion stitched ferns and weeds and Lutradur leaves and forest floor. The only items not hand made are three small brown Beech tree pods.
With this challenge finished its back to trying out ideas and working up samples for my main exhibition piece. I’ve no idea how that will look as yet but I’m thinking along the lines of it being “abstract”…..that thought may change several times between now and completion!
I’m delighted to be returning to the Walled Garden Baumber on The 28th & 29th of this month to take part in their annual Arts & Crafts Event. It’s an opportunity meet local professional artists, working in a variety of materials and styles, and maybe discover that unique Christmas gift.
The WGB is a wonderful setting for an event like this and with the craft stalls being under canvass it will be a great day out come rain or shine!
As well as the craft marquee you will find ample parking, plant sales and a tea room serving delicious home made cakes and snacks. The event runs from 10am until 3pm each day.
Last year I joined a group of creative ladies who meet once a month at Waltham Windmill. As well as working on our own projects we have a number of set “challenges” requiring us to work to a certain theme. This week I began one those challenges which is to produces three A4 size pieces of work using just three colours. Each piece is to have one predominant colour, plus a small amount of the other two. The format can be landscape or portrait but all three will be displayed together. The design, techniques and materials are entirely up to the individual.
This Rock Pool with Seaweed is approximately 33cm x 38cm. It has been made using Bergschaf fibres for the background and rocks, Merino for the seaweed and Angelina for the water. The barnacles are hand embroidered Colonial Knots.
Yesterday I travelled over to Manchester’s EventCity with fellow Jeudis member Christine Plummer for a day of stewarding at the Creative Craft Show.
We were there as members of the mixed media textile group Jeudis, to promote our group and our most recent body of work on the theme of Abstraction. The work is very varied and include 2D and 3D pieces, wet felting, quilting, collage, hand stitching, machine stitching, etc, etc. My main piece was inspired by rockpools and made with wet felted Bergschaf fibres, found shells and pebbles, hand and machine embellished.
I took this theme further, making several items of felted jewellery for the sales table, and was delighted with the response these brought. The rock pool bracelets were particularly popular and the grey necklet found a new home with a lady who looked absolutely stunning in it!
The following photos show more of the groups work…..
Our next Exhibition will be at Birmingham NEC and I will confirm dates nearer the time.
Inspired by rock pools this Wet felted Abstract Wall Hanging, made from natural shades of Bergschaf fibres punctuated with orange, is very textural and tactile. It’s a mixed media piece combining pebbles, shells and paper with free motion stitching and hand stitched colonial knots. Size approx 54cm diameter x 10cm deep.
I will been exhibiting this piece with textile group Jeudis at the Creative Craft Show in Manchester from January 31st to the 2nd February.