I’ve had the theme “connected” running around in my head for while and decided to use it to experiment with free motion stitch. Each of these shapes has been made using FM on water soluble fabric. The shapes were then connected to a painted vilene background, suspended using FM.
I was thrilled to get a phone call this afternoon to say that my “Shadows” wet felted wallhanging has been accepted by the National Centre for Craft & Design as part of their Art Club open exhibition. It will be on display in the Activity Zone from this Thursday until the 6th September.
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.
Although there were many negative sides to “lockdown”, for many of us, there were also lots of positives. On the one hand all of my classes, exhibitions and shows had to be cancelled which was very depressing. One the other hand, it meant I now had unlimited time for walking with Maddie, my staffy boxer cross, which was uplifting. I’m sure a lot of us started to notice things we would otherwise have simply passed by, like these wonderful shadows cast by the trees.
I decided to use these shadows as inspiration for an abstract wet felted Wallhanging. The fibres used are Merino and Viscose and it’s been embellished with free motion stitch, hand spun yarn (my first attempt at spinning!) and Colonial Knots. The finished piece is mounted on board and measures 42cm x 58cm. It will form part of my “Fabric & Fibre of Nature” exhibition at The Quilt & Stitch Show, Uttoxeter in April 2021.
Today I was invited down to North Kilworth, Leicestershire to work with fourteen ladies from the textile group “Textend”. We spent the day painting fabric, layering with sheers and tulle and stitching to create our tree themed landscapes. Some ladies worked from imagination while others took inspiration from photos or cards. Although there is still work to be done, as you can see, the pieces are looking great. Many thanks to Ruth for inviting me and look forward to seeing some of you again next week.
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.
This is Abstraction, the finished Mixed Media piece I’ve been working on for the past week. The theme was set by the textile group Jeudis and my interpretation is purely non-representational.
The shapes, formed by laying out and felting the Merino fibres, fabrics and silks, have been traced with free motion stitching which in turn has produced ridges and valleys, adding to the overall textural effect.
For now it’s got pride of place hanging in the lounge in a simple, flat profile black frame…..
I developed a ganglion on my right hand as a result of making the bird mask last week. It’s giving me some gip so I’m resting the hand for a while and doing a few pieces that don’t require a strong grip. Yesterday it was a Tyvek Seed Pod incorporating sari silks and acrylic paint…..
Today I made a start on a mixed Media piece with the theme “Abstraction” which was set by the textile group Jeudis which I became a member of a couple of months ago. I’m combining free motion stitch with painted Lutradur and wet Felted Merino, for now it’s work in progress…..
I’m currently working on samples for a heat manipulative mixed media workshop with the theme “Forest Floor”. This is the first sample in the series in which I’ve used painted and heat distressed Tyvek and Lutradur, combined with natural tree bark, a leaf and hand embroidery.
The first of the workshops will be held at Simply Stitch, East Keswick on April 7th & 8th. On day one we will be painting on, and experimenting with, various heat manipulative materials. Using an iron, soldering iron and heat tool we will be working with Tyvek paper and fabric, various weights of Lutradur and polyester. There will be the opportunity to include hand and machine stitching in your work.
On day two we will use the samples we have made, or create new ones, adding stitching and found objects to build up a layered, highly textured piece of work inspired by the “Forest Floor”. For more info or to book a place contact Nicola on 07969 578289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 25th I will be running a one day “Forest Floor” workshop at All Sewn Up by Debs in Horncastle. For this session we will be using the iron, soldering iron and heat tool to manipulate Tyvek paper and lightweight Lutradur. Once they’ve been distressed these materials will be combined with natural tree bark and hand stitching to create our beautiful, layered Forest Floor. This class is suitable for all abilities and is a great introduction to working with Lutradur and Tyvek. For more information or to book a place call Debs on 01507 524566.
December went by in a bit of blur, as I’m sure it did for lots of folk, but with the festivities now over and life back to normal I’ve time to catch up and record whats been happening creatively over the past month.
December got off to a festive start with seven ladies taking part in my Felted Fairy Workshop at the Alford Craft Studio. We began by wet felting the head, arms and body.
Once these were dry Boucle yarn was added for hair and this was dressed with a seed bead tiara.
Finally the fairies were given a needle felted bouquet to hold. They all worked out beautifully and one of the ladies has since been in touch to say she went on to make another six for friends to put on their Christmas Trees!
The second week in December saw me holding a textile workshop in Langton by Spilsby for members of The Spirit of Sutterby group. The group consists of approx 70 Members (if I remember right!) and has formed with the goal to explore the village of Sutterby, research its past, record its present and help with its future.
This was a great opportunity for me to get involved in a local collaborative project and hopefully my workshop provided some inspiration and guidance to help move the textile side of their project forward.
The group was keen to try out techniques they hadn’t used before and had fun with the heat tool and soldering iron, distressing polyester fabrics, Lutradur and Tyvek as well as painting and layering their fabrics.
It was a busy day and although no one got their piece finished I was assured they had a great time and were taking away lots of new ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how these translate to the Textile Landscape they will produce for the Sutterby project.