First photos from my ArtL!nks project

I am just taking a quick break from organising bedrooms (my two sisters and a friend are staying here tomorrow night in honour of the golf club dance!) to post the first pictures from the start of my ArtL!nks project.  After all the planning that went into my proposal it was actually quite hard to start the work  for some reason, sometimes I think that pondering, plotting, planning and worrying too much can have a very detrimental effect on my actual felting! 

Fitting and stitching some of Mehmet's rug base around a plastic resist with the intention of ending up with a freestanding tube

Anyway, I decided that instead of playing around with samples exploring surface detail as I had initially intended I would actually try and make a free standing column, measure the shrinkage rate, see how strongly I could felt it and assess how stable it would be without additional internal support.  This has been the aspect of the project that I have been having the most concerns about and I wanted to be sure that my ideas would work before studying images of nudibranches further prior to finalising the design and cutting out the first resists.  You may remember the piece I felted this summer during Charlotte Buch’s workshop in Silkeborg, the images we used for inspiration were the trigger for me to explore the wonderful and colourful world of nudibranches (aka sea slugs) and it would be safe to say I am thoroughly hooked by now!

I decided to stick with a tonal grey colour combination that I enjoy working with leaving me free to feel how the base of my piece was felting and determine how successfully the structural aspects of the column were working.  I stitched some of Mehmet’s rug base into a tube and inserted a plastic resist into the middle to make sure that the wool didn’t all just felt together into one big thick carpet!  Next I laid two colours of Icelandic wool (both grey) on the surface leaving a couple of areas free of wool and also adding a few splotches of apple green C1 for contrast. 

Working the soap and water downwards through all the layers of wool and fabric

A lot of rubbing and sanding later the surface wool was starting to migrate through the thick cotton well and everything was starting to felt together into one cohesive piece, now I was ready to start with rolling.  Because of all my recent work on Sylvia’s rug I knew that the cotton fabric Mehmet uses for his rug bases would add stability to the column but at this stage I wasn’t sure exactly how evenly I would be able to shape the final piece and whether the top and bottom would stretch a little as had happened with some tentative experiments earlier in the year.

Ready to start rolling

To be continued …..


6 thoughts on “First photos from my ArtL!nks project

  1. Hallo Nicola,
    what’s it “the Mehmet’s rug base”?
    Is it a kind of prefelt with wollblanket?
    I’m wondering and
    lot’s of greetings from switzerland

  2. Hi looking good ,do feel the stability will be a mathmatical equation of length against circumference,so if it does not work as you want look into that ,sure everyone will want to know now where to buy Mehmets rug base and actually what it is.Take care

  3. Good morning Nicola,

    I can totally relate to your hesitancy to jump into a project with both feet without totally thinking the thing to death. That ideal of perfectionism can lead to much procrastination for me. You’ll feel great when the project is completed, and you’re learning so much along the way. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. Sure looks like your project is off to a grand start! Can’t wait to see the final outcome.

    Enjoy your company and have a great time at your golf club dance this evening. Be sure to wear comfortable dancing shoes:-)


  4. Hi Nicola!

    I certainly can appreciate all the planning. We all know that you will have exactly what you want when your piece is finished. Looking forward to seeing more of the process.

    Connie – USA Maryland

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