How do I make hand felted pictures? The wet process...
Felt From The Inside, Inspired By The Outside
It all starts with a walk in nature. Going outside, brings me inside – deep into my soul which ignites my creative passion.
The unexpected sunlight that peaks at the end of a grey day; earthy, rugged land;
slow transient seasons; rolling, moody skies…
I capture these moments by observing, sensing, sketching and photographing. Sometimes I am so moved by an unexpected scene, that I stop the car, do a u-turn and go back to take it all in. Once I have it captured, I have to let it out again – these are my expressions, FELT.
Did I Tell You That I Love Colour?
Take some blue fleece and some yellow fleece – mix them together with carders (brushes for combing wool), now I have an original green colour. Voila!
Colour blending is the fundamental and most exciting part of my craft. Different colours of wool fleece are brushed together with various natural fibres, creating gorgeous colour blends, textures and reflections. I use wool that is natural in colour, as well as pre-dyed. I see this as my paint – a luscious starting palette where I can touch and select different colours to create the desired mixes and effects.
Call Me The 'Wool Alchemist'
This is the part where the magic happens. Working from my hand mixed colour selection, I pull out fibres and lay them onto a bamboo mat. Like applying paint with brush strokes, accept I use my fingers to pull out different coloured wool strands and build up a fluffy fleece picture. How does it all stay together?… I hear you asking…
I use my hands to roll the loose strands in the bamboo with soapy water, this binds the wool fibres which transform into hand made felt. Fascinating.
Now For Some Quiet Definition
My creations are completed with stitch, I use my sewing machine like a pencil to draw onto the felt which defines the imagery. Winding down to do some mindful embroidery, is the relaxing part of the making process, I can get lost in this mode and lose track of time. Sumptuous threads and yarns are hand embroidered onto the felt, whilst my fingers are busily engaged in the final transformation. When I ‘wake up’, and stand back to have a look, I smile. I then sign off in stitches (my signature is sewn onto the felt work to make it complete).