This 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.
This 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.
The 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.
Here 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!