Being inspired by Dagmar’s fine art wall hangings on exhibition in Odense, Denmark during ‘Felt in Focus’ 2009 I swore then that I’d take a workshop of hers when this was one of the projects that would be offered for participants to explore.
Thanks to US friend Susan (who didn’t manage to get into Dagmar’s 2 day Irish workshop!) who alerted me to the 6 day masterclass at Big Cat Textiles, I booked asap and in turn alerted our mutual US friend Merridee, the die was cast and the three of us all had a marvellous time!!! I knew before I headed to Scotland that I wanted to make my wall hanging in natural white with various undyed fibres for the surface decoration, this left me free to make decisions about what attachments to add and how I wanted the piece to appear structurally after I had time to mull over all the different options. The soya, silk, linen, milk protein and sea cell fibres that I used on the surface gave a nice tone on tone effect and opting for a simple style meant that I was free to try a complimentary vessel with a spiral attachment on day four.
Working with an open rather than a closed resist for my vessel was a eureka moment for me!!! Strange isn’t it? Dawn uses this method almost always for her beautiful hats and it never once occurred to me to do so for a vessel. It’s a hang over from reading somewhere (a beginners felting book I think, early in the days) that it was always preferrable to totally cover the template, something to do with the pressure the edges are put under during the felting process. Well anyway, chatting to Dagmar and actually trying an open sided resist has totally changed my perspective on how I’ll felt vessels in the future, I loved the way I could manipulate the shape and the quality of the open edges was very uniform and smooth! I’m not saying that I’ll always use this method but I can now see my way clearly to felting some vessels that I’ve been itching to try but to date have only existed in my imagination, watch this space. Finishing my vessel by the time day four’s advertised time was up meant that I had several hours free that evening to measure myself (with help obviously!) and work out how large I needed my template to be for the sleeveless vest with attachments that were scheduled to be felted during the fifth and sixth days of this marvelous workshop. I’ll leave you with a picture of the finished vessel, note the subtle colour and texture from soya fibre inside the neck. Next time, the vest.
The vessel is stunning – beautiful!
The vessel looks great will you be teaching open templates at any of your workshops.
Love how you’ve shaped your vessel and wallhanging, sans color. Very exciting how one sees more with out color….all the colors within white, like the inside of a sea shell. (An assignment in college – to paint the colors of a white egg. I think I made mine vibrantly, not white, which wasn’t what the teacher wanted).
Very interesting to learn about open sided resists – I’ve seen folks do it with berets but wondered if it would be too untidy,….but no. Good.
Anyway, if you are ever without a blog topic, I would love to learn more about the amazing and various fibers that you felt with: sea cell fibres sounds interesting! And of course that short fiber merino that you have praised from Wolknoll, would be lovely to learn more of. Or, perhaps it is in a future book?
I sometimes cut Merino into short lengths to have better control ‘drawing’ with them…but haven’t noticed quicker/better felting (yet).
I love, love your elegant vessel! It reminds me of the elegant coat I purchased from Charity! same tone on tone and felted with a fine shape!!!
love the look of both pieces……there is such elegance in white on white, your pieces are fantastic. Hopefully we will be using this in September………you must have trouble sleeping with all these ideas running thru your head. cannot wait to see you and get to work
The simplicity and elegant lines of both pieces are truly stunning, Nicola!
Wow!!!! I love both of your gorgeous creations…You must be thrilled with the results of your efforts!!!! I’m going to put Dagmar on my list of ‘I really, really, really want to take a workshop with her’ list;-)
So happy that you had such a fantastic time.
Hope that you’re having a fantastic day!
oh, I want to figure out this open ended template thing but it is 105F , has been for 27 days and will continue at least another 7 days. If you can believe this, it is hotter here, in Kansas than in the hottest portion of the USA: Phoenix, Arizona. What is an open ended template? One does not encase the template like an envelope?
Hi Deb, I don’t have a minute now but I’ll post about my experiences with open sided resists in a couple of days for you! X Nicola
what a lovely creation, Nicola. You know I am wild about spirals so your piece is at the top of my favorite list. Looks like you enjoyed yourself and now have proof with this vessel. What is the fiber contents? It looks so smooth as if it were glass.
I obviously wrote my comment by merely looking at the pics. Oops! I can not visualize what an open template is or compare it to a close template. Sounds like a delightful class and to add portions after you have already felted it? I am in awe, as I have tried it numerous time -unsuccessfully.