The coal stove kicks out some dry heat so even this thick piece of felt was ready very quickly. I hand stitched a backing on the piece and mounted it in a wood frame. I’ve chosen not to use glass on my felted wall art so the tactile textural quality has a room softening effect. This is helpful when the collector places it in a bank, an office or other “sterile” environment.
Every aspect of this piece relates to my environment in some way. Anyone who drives past my little farm in the summer knows about my towering sunflowers. The old picket fence offers a rustic backdrop for a constantly changing display of lilies, hollyhocks, zinnias and more as the season progresses. Many of the wool colors are derived from flowers growing in my gardens or fields. The finished framed size is 36″x 24″ and is available for $1429.
This weekend I am heading to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA to do my first show in 2016. The festival is Jan 29th-31, Friday and Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5. My booth is #312 so if you are in the area come check it out along with 250 other crafters and artists.
Rubbing to felt the wool fibers
After many hours of design work, my new landscape piece is ready for wet felting by hand. I saturate the wool with lukewarm soapy water and then rub it to create friction. I use a plastic bags so the wool fibers don’t stick to my gloved hands. Wool fibers are covered with scales much like miniature pine cones. The soap helps the fibers slide together from the rubbing, the scales interlock, air pockets are removed and what is left is felted wool. I start rubbing very gently at first and then with more vigor as the fibers condense and start holding together. I thoroughly rub both sides and when I am satisfied with the structure I rinse it several times to remove all traces of soap. It will dry over night or longer near my coal stove.
Wetting the design with warm soapy water
Picket Fence with zinnias and black-eyed-susans
I’ve introduced a picket fence into my felted wool art piece. It is loosely based on the fence that runs in front of my house and past my garden beds. Recreating flower memories from last summer is a wonderful diversion from the dull winter landscape I can see out the window. My giant sunflowers will be the next addition.
The next step on this large felt piece will be the addition of a fence. Since I can’t draw a pencil guide line on the wool, I developed a method to mark the vanishing point. I tied strings to three needles and placed them in the work. That gives me a straight path to follow without making any marks on the project.
Using needles and string to establish perspective.
Filed under Felting, Fiber
- At this stage of the piece I am placing the distant hills to give the landscape depth. I have combined six shades of wool to give the sensation of space. The tools I use are actually quite simple. I use a flea comb to blend wool fibers to achieve specific tones. I lightly tack the fibers in place using a single barbed needle for detail work and a multi-needle holder for larger areas. Visible also are some of the reference photos I took of my farm that will help guide me.
Very excited to be starting my first large felted art piece of the year. It also represents a new dimension for me to be working in, 32×18 inches unframed. In this photo I am laying in the sky. My blending of different wool colors gives the sky dimensionality. I will post more photos of the work progressing.