Agh, now my heat has gone this morning so no water at all plus no heat today = no felting until services resume on Tuesday with the planned arrival of the plumber yet again! I did manage to carry up enough water from my neighbours yesterday morning to use in the experimental nuno felting workshop (all went well) but have decided to put some time into planning a LARGE felt sculpture over the next two days and not drag tonnes of water up the hill and wear myself out with all the effort!!
Small felt sculpture
For this large sculptural piece I am going to expand on the technique I learnt from amazing Icelandic felter Anna Gunnarsdottier at the large felt sculpture workshop I attended last July at the Felt in Focus Symposium in Denmark. As you can see, the small green and maroon sculpture which I made just after Christmas is three sided and by using Anna’s technique of multiple resists stitched together it is possible to get huge finished pieces with multiple sides, the only limit is how large you can visualise the finished sculpture to be! I want to make a submission for Sculpture in Context again and also work towards something unusual and creative for the Annual RDS Crafts Competition (Royal Dublin Society). Anna also showed us how it was possible to mend and repair our three dimensional pieces anywhere they were weak, this has opened up loads of avenues because she really appeared to ‘rescue’ work which previously I would have thought was totally beyond redemption. By applying this repair technique it means that I can be much more adventures with my shapes than I otherwise might have been so over the next few days I want to plot, plan and challenge myself in preparation for Tuesdays resumption of services and my first large felt sculpture of 2010!
It’s wet and windy outside today and I can quite see why those yaks need to grow a soft undercoat during the winter months to keep themselves all warm and snug! Luckily I was able to buy some beautiful soft yak fibre from Blas and Jamie at Urban Fauna Studio recently and now is the afternoon to put it to the test and make a soft and chic winter scarf or cowl for myself. I had brought two colours home with me, Carmen choose an unusual blue which means that I am left with (ha, ha) a beautiful blend of olive green, just 61g which is not a lot to spare but I hopefully by the time I post tomorrow I will have some pictures taken to show you the results.
This morning was spent tidying up more of the studio but a body needs a break sometimes and since the wind is blowing up a storm disallowing any outdoor phtography today the felting table calls, wouldn’t you agree?? Still no sign of my own camera under all the mess and at this stage I am beginning to wonder if it will ever turn up again. It is especially frustrating as not only did I love the camera (it was a present from Alan) but my pictures from my trip to Felt in Focus were still on the card as were some from another friend who had problems with her own camera in Denmark as well. I wanted to finish posting about making the large felt sculpture and was hoping the pictures would say it louder than words!
For those of you interested in climate change and how it impacts on our environment you may be interested in viewing my friend Cathy FitzGerald’s new short film ‘once i counted birds’. This short has been entered in the UK Guardian Newspaper’s worldwide 1 minute to save the world film competition and selected films will be screened at the Copenhagen Climate Change summit in December. If you enjoy the film please please vote for Cathy by rolling your cursor over the stars (you can vote until the 7 November) and please feel free to forward the link to any friends you think might like it!
The second felt workshop that I participated in at ‘Felt in Focus’ was fairly large felt sculptures with Anna Gunnarsdottir from Iceland. This was a brilliant experience and taught me a totally new way of looking at resists! As with Lyda’s complex bag workshop I am going to cover what we did over several posts and this is also a good way for me to revisit all that I learnt over the 2 days. (Please bear with me as I am having computer problems, it keeps closing and I think that I need to get it ‘attended’ to by an expert or else I will go potty!)
Two of Anna's felt sculptures
Anna’s large sculptural pieces are amazing and it was very exciting to learn the technique of felting large objects, my head is now full of shapes and I am just waiting for the arrival of Icelandic wool to really go crazy experimenting at home. Once everyone had introduced themselves and explained what they hoped to get out of the workshop Anna explained and demonstrated how she stitches layers of plastic resist together to form the template for her felt objects. I was lucky that reknowned Irish felter Elizabeth Bonner had participated in the first workshop so I had the advantage of watching her work progress and learn from any observations and tips. The biggest help to me was knowing that creating a symmetrical template was easiest and then stitching straight up the central line as opposed to joining the layers with a curved line would be the simplest option. Anna encouraged everyone to think outside the box when deciding on our shape and I although I had toyed with the idea of using my backpack template this proved too large to deal with in the two days allocated. My choice therefore was a bit like a rounded figure of eight on it’s side, complete with two bumps on each surface that I intended embellishing with horse hair. This workshop was also a great opportunity to experiment with new fibres and fishskin. Anna had a great selection of horse hair and dyed salmon, wolf fish and cod skin, other participants had brought raw fleece and various found objects to play around with. To be cont …. including pictures of my template and work in progress!