Yesterday I was able to finish the large felt landscape that I had started at the beginning of the adverse weather conditions recently. You may remember thatI had been playing around laying out loads of different fibres and broken up pieces of cobweb felt for my design, it had been languishing for the last couple of weeks damp in my bath!
Landscape prior to reworking
Anyway, here is a photo o f the piece yesterday morning before I got down to re-wetting and fulling the felt. At this stage it measured approx 85cm X 49cm and you can see that the sky area looks slightly pinkish.
I boiled up a couple of kettles (STILL no heat or hot water!) and immersed the felt into a basin of hot soapy water. It took a bit of dunking and squishing before the fibres totally absorbed the water but once I was sure everything was saturated I soaped heavily and then rolled the piece firmly using my old bamboo blind. Because I was aiming for a nice textured surface and didn’t want too even a surface I didn’t roll for too long, just enough to totally felt the piece and once finished the completed landscape now measures 77cm X 49cm.
The finished landscape
As you can see from this picture of the finished landscape the sky now is white with grey wisps for clouds and extremely pale pink strands of gauze streaking it in places. It is hard to describe how like the mountains surrounding me these colours actually are. Where my farmhouse is situated at Clasheen the Blackstairs Mountains almost enclose me and every morning I am woken up to an ever changing view for inspiration!
Silk threads highlight the hills
The finished landscape is now ready for a new home! To me it is completed as it is and would be a wonderful reminder of Ireland for a special friend. I do think however that if there are any needle felters, embellishers or stitchers out there it would also make an amazing base to work your magic on!! I am going to put the landscape up for sale in my Etsy store as soon as I have had a coffee (internet connection permitting) and am happy to include some extra fibres if anyone would like to play around and embellish the surface some more.
As promised here is a picture of the completed mosaic mat.
The completed mosaic mat
Obviously you can tell from the image that snow has arrived at Clasheen but the unfortunate news is that my water has once more stopped running. Luckily my heat is OK because the outside temperature has never risen above -2 degrees today, unheard of weather conditions for Ireland although everything looks like a beautiful winter wonderland at the moment!! It struck me when taking this picture that the mosaic method would work very well if you cut out your shapes as if you were going to sew a traditional patchwork quilt. This may be some research that I will take up at some stage but for the moment it was a really simple way to use some of my left over prefelt. Following on from this project I decided to experiment with more prefelt, pieces of my first long loved (but finally wrecked!) cobweb scarf and various bits and bobs of embellishing fibres that I have had in my stash. Due to my lack of water I also wanted to work some more with Icelandic wool (as it needs loads of soap but not too much water) and melted some snow on the range to keep me going for the moment.
Silk and mohair/romney highlights
Here is an image to whet your appetite and you can check out my Flickr photos for some more teasers of this landscape. For anyone wanting to experiment with Icelandic wool I am offering the batts that I work with for sale through my Etsy store, please just mail me if you don’t see the colour that you are looking for!
Wow, I recieved my swap parcel from Dawn Edwards and it was fantastic! It is amazing to post a friend part of your stash and in return receive part of theirs, you never know what will come out of the exchange!! Check out these gorgeous goodies (much better picture in Dawn’s Flickr images), don’t they look divine??? Obviously I could loose no time in trying out the beautiful fibre, a 70% romney and 30% mohair combination. I was extremely excited to be trying out a fibre that was totally new to me and in some of my favourite colours, olive, golden lime and deep purple. Carmen called over this afternoon to do a bit of felting together and we drooled over the wool/mohair mix before I decided to make a vessel as a trial run. BIG mistake! Before starting I searched in all my books to check out the type of project I should submit the wool to, didn’t find much info so decided to make a vessel. I laid out 4 layers using the resist method and the colours were very beautiful but the vessel was not!! It was patchy and definitely not strong enough for what I had intended but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I reworked the felt into a totally different shape and put it in the oven to dry. It now is a sculptural and organic piece which I intend to stitch into (WOW, I can’t believe that I said that) and I promise to put up a few pictures sometime over the next few days. I am going to ask Dawn what she usually makes with this type of fibre and tomorrow have planned to combine it with some richly coloured silk to make a colourful and lightweight scarf. Thanks a million Dawn for such a challenging and great package!