Sunday, May 26, 2013

Experiments and Test Patches

This spring has been a flurry of activity for me, with weddings, out of town guests, other social engagements, and travel.  Keeping up with this blog had to take a back seat for a bit, as well as larger felting projects.  So, I've used the few spare moments of creative time here and there recently to study more felting techniques and to experiment with wet felting different kinds of wool in different ways. 

It's all been very simple, basic beginner stuff, but it's refreshing and liberating to experiment freely with no hopes or expectations regarding the outcome. 

Many of the "sculptural tapestries" I've done have started with simple wet felted backgrounds, but those take forever.  For that reason, and for the joy of creative challenge, I'm interested in creating images solely through wet felting.  Most of the felt art that I'm seeing lately that blows my mind is in the world of wet felting, rather than needle felting, and it's left me inspired to see if I can learn and adapt techniques to my own little world inspired by primitivism, pop culture,surrealism and esoterica. 

 It's not the aim of this post to break down the experiments by wool type and result.  Most of these experiments were "test patches," making simple little images with different kinds of wool I had around the house.  Fine, merino wool has the most pleasing to work with, and shrinks a LOT.  Different percentages of shrinkage was an issue, especially when combining different kinds of wool in the layering process. 

The thing I enjoyed most was working on "spider web" felting, which as you would guess, is the process of creating thin, web-like felt.  Also, created some spider-web felt in conjunction with chunky, hand spun yarn as part of the structure.  It seems like there is a much creative potential for the future with that technique.

I'm not feeling overly wordy today, so. . . just some pictures of my favorite "test patches."

Used clothes pins during drying to "sculpt" facial features

Abstract test patch, merino
Eye of Horus, unknown wool (created poor quality felt.)

Spider-web felt mini-hanging, with hand spun yarn


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