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