Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gotta Felt…

I have been doing a lot of dyeing lately… and over-dyeing, and triple dyeing, and then discharging (removing the dye) and then re-dyeing….Enough already, I need a little break. 

There are times when I feel the need for some needle work, back up in my studio, the one equipped with AC. I miss my machines and I have piles of colourful scraps of wool, silk and cotton awaiting mindless work – yeah! 

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The best (most fun) is my needle felting machine.  It makes an awful punching, grinding sound as it pushes and pulls one fabric into the other.

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This work only requires bits and scraps of cotton, silk, or wool, in fact any material that can withstand abuse and I have lots of that.

It is a lot less cerebral, more intuitive, relaxing and playful.  I normally have a radio or TV on in the background, so I can tune in or out at will, and away I go with the needle felting machine: chung chung chung chung chung,….a lot of noise emanates from my studio during this process!

Meanwhile I pound one colour and texture into the other.  Sometimes I will flip the piece over and pound some of the background back into the foreground.

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  I keep my sewing machine handy or embroidery floss and add some line work if needed. 

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If I don’t like the results, I simply apply another piece of fabric on top and pound that in. What is underneath disappears into the substrate and the piece is rescued again.

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Oh, and for icing on the cake…I run a hot steam iron over the front and back.  This not only blocks the piece but creates a gorgeously smooth felted surface that further bonds this new matrix together. 

I love the resulting mix  - the texture and sheen of this new matrix is almost like paint at times.

 

2 comments:

Linda Cline said...

Your needle felted pieces are really wonderful. I have seen a lot of needle felted pieces that look like shredded chaos. These look planned, and have a wonderful texture.

Great dyed fabrics too.

Kit Vincent said...

Thanks Linda,

It is wonderful to get feedback from fellow bloggers. I got to check out your site and I admire your stitch work. I hadn't thought of adding paint after stitching - what a great idea!

Kit