Section 1 (left hand panel)
I’ve done a reasonable amount of wet felting in the past but nothing where I have had to produce a piece matched to a particular size and design. Generally I’ve placed my fibres and silks in colours and arrangements I’ve found pleasing and waited for the serendipitous results – hoping I’ll like them. I’ve not been disappointed so far.
However, making the piece above I’ve learned some new and valuable skills:
- How to calculate shrinkage correctly and produce a piece to a specific size.
- How to use a scrappy batt effectively, taking into account fibre direction and variegated colour placement.
- Joining batt pieces without a seam.
- How to create motifs by forming and retaining shapes using a template.
- How to partially felt motifs and incorporate into a prepared base.
- Patience and attention to detail when working wet felting method to ensure motif shape is retained as accurately as possible.
Section 3 (right hand panel)
I made the right hand panel on the same day as the first piece as I’m always conscious of the possibility of variations when trying to match an item made on a different day. The weather may have changed so the fibre reacts differently, my mood would probably be different, I may be either more light or heavy-handed with the fibre, I could be in more of a hurry and so on.
Again, I calculated my sizing so it would result in the correct end measurement for the project. However, here I didn’t need to incorporate any motifs as I intend them to be more dimensional than the first piece so they will be added at a later stage.
Both felted pieces have very light weight muslin fused to the wrong side to add strength and durability to cope with the surface decoration that will be worked. More wool fibres, hand and machine stitching, beading and some organza fabrics will be added to create my designs.