Flower Painting Completed

 

IMG_3742-001This painting is the inspiration for going out of my wet felting comfort zone.  I am still learning about the wool and what it can do.

IMG_5264This is the painting after wet felting for the second time.  I regret not having taken a photo after the first stage.  I used natural white Corriedale batt as the base and pink for the next layer.  The flowers and leaves are a mixture of Corriedale roving and Merino.  I also used Wensleydale locks for the drippy bits and a bit of silk noil.  After the first wet felting, the pink migrated outwards and instead of shrinking the way I wanted, it spread out.  Some parts were really thin, and the flowers lost some color and definition.  I then reworked the piece with needle felting in some dry wool to get the flower shapes back and filling in some spaces.  This also gave me an opportunity to add some extra details to the flowers and some more leaves.  I then added some more Corriedale to the thin spots and then wet felted the whole piece again.  The piece only shrunk a little bit more so I threw it into the tumble dryer to see if that would do anything.  Apparently it didn’t make a difference.  The piece measures approximately 12 inches wide x 14 inches on its longest side.

IMG_5305The next step is to machine stitch the piece.  There is such a thing as less is more, but as this is a flower painting, I felt that each flower and leaf needed to be stitched.  I even added a few extra leaves.  Free style machine stitching makes me nervous, but once I got going, I was ok and was happy with the result until I saw this photo.  So, before going onto the next step of embellishing with embroidery. I ripped out the silk noil and the extra leaf under the blue flower on the lower left corner.

IMG_5339Here is a close-up of the finished piece.  I used embroidery and beads.  I purchased a couple of books on embroidery stitches that were very helpful as it has been a long time (teenager) since I did any embroidery.  I think my grandma would have been proud as she taught me how to do most everything.

I didn’t have a frame large enough to frame the piece in its natural state.  I really love the look of the raw edges, but I wanted to frame this and had to compromise.  I had a square frame that is 16×16 inches with a 12 inch aperture that is meant to be used as a box frame, but unfortunately that is not the case by the way it is made.  I had two of these frames and took the mount out of one of them to double them up in order to keep the painting as far away from the glass as possible as wool has a tendency to sweat if touching glass.  I know it’s weird, but it happens.  This is why it is better to frame them in a box frame.  In any event, I always say that art looks great when it’s framed.

I have some good news on the job front and managed to snag a temp contract for the next six weeks.  Considering that none of my applications brought fruit, this is a welcome relief as it has been a struggle these last few months.  Although working will be great, that will mean less time for playing around with wool, but at least I more or less know what I am doing now!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Needle Felted Winter Gnome

Downloads2Meet Sedgewick, my Winter Gnome.  I am hooked on making these guys.  Sedgewick is sporting a grey coat and hat with ‘fur’ edging and pom-pom.  He doesn’t go anywhere without his skis and poles.

Sedgewick sits on a snowy white base of sliced white birch and is approximately 6.5 inches tall.   He is now available in my Etsy shop.

WIP – A Flower Painting

I have been looking for full time employment since I’ve been back from our holidays.  In between job hunting, I have been felting and blogging.  You can start reading about the places we went to since the beginning of June.  It’s on my other blog.  I believe there is a link on the sidebar.  We started in France and the rest is a bit of a roller coaster!

I have been putting my hand to wet felting.  It is like painting, but with wool.  I have amassed a nice collection of different wools to play and experiment with.  Interestingly, each type of wool has its own characteristics and is better for some things than others.  Merino wool is supposed to be great for wet felting with.  I haven’t wet felted with 100% Merino wool yet.  Corriedale is meant to be great for dry needle felting (2D and 3D) and the Merino is meant to be great for wet felting as the fibers are thin and long.  Merino is also very soft.  Some manufacturers make blends.  Needle felting has opened up a whole new world for me, and also jargon.

So far, I have wet felted exclusively with Corriedale wool which is a bit more coarse and with shorter fibers.  So far, I have learned that it wet felts very quickly.  I am guessing that is due to nature of the shorter fibers.

My current work in progress is based on one of my drippy flower paintings.

IMG_5264Here is the painting after wet felting for the second time.  First I used Corriedale as the bas, and then I used a mixture of Merino and Corriedale for the colors I needed.  There was a slight issue with some of the shapes going askew and the colors not being vibrant enough, so I needle felted into the painting to tidy it up and added some extra leaves.  My edges also got really thin, so I tacked on some extra wool.  I then wet felted the whole thing again and got the above. My painting spread out quite a lot and I think that this is a characteristic of the Corriedale.  This piece measures 12 x 14 inches.  I started with 12×12 hoping it would shrink down, so I need to work out how to improve on that as I have been following the instructions (there are different ways!).

The next step was to do the free stitching.  I found some colored sewing thread and embroidery thread cheap at the charity shop and topped up at the haberdashers.  I get a bit scared of the free stitching as you don’t use a foot on the darning plate.  Anyway, here is what I did next.

IMG_5305I just sat at the sewing machine and went for it.  In my acrylic painting, the flowers are quite abstract, with swirls of paint in each flower to show movement.  Here was an opportunity to do something different.  The next step is to add some detail with the embroidery thread without going over the top.  Wish me luck!  It’s been a long time since I have done any type of embroidery! 🙂