Friday, May 14, 2010

Orange felting

Might seem a strange title but Orange is a town past the Blue Mountains in NSW where an annual Textile Forum is held in the easter school holidays for a week. This year I attended, spending a wonderful week felting with Catherine O'Leary a great felter from Melbourne. She specialises in creating the most beautiful garments from nunofelting tissue silk on to merino tops and batts. She had a few on display which we oggled over.

She prints a lot of her own line drawings on to silk which are nuno felted in.
I've done quite a bit of nunofelting over the last few years in Australia but never creating such smooth and flat fabric. Any time before I've exploited the shrinkage of the wool and the resulting rouching and gathering you get in the silk on top. It was wonderful to work with fabric which was felting so carefully and slowly that there was barely any shrinkage involved and the silk patterns just merged into the wool.

My efforts were not as refined lets say but I attempted a tunic in the week which I tried to design incorporating all the techniques she demonstrated to add pattern and texture.

Here I am laying out the pieces:

This is the wetting down stage under a layer of plastic:

and many hours later the finished tunic (front and back). Spot my recurring motif from my research, and my dress!

The motifs were inlaid, or appeared through cutaways or felted on top, but in the end you couldn't really tell which method had been used as it was pretty smooth.

The weaving of pre felted strips was my favourite:

One lady decided to make a whole bag front with weavings.

The finished display of the class's work was quite amazing for only a week's work. The photo below shows only a small part.

The patterned green rectangle was also mine which will be a cover for my A3 sketchbook/folder in the diploma - finally I'm decorating it! At this stage I hadn't done any embroidery on top - what am I saying I still haven't done any now......but the intention is there you understand!

I loved felting in the "sushi roll slices":

My arms and shoulders were still aching for days afterwards!


Maggie said...

What an amazing felting course you attended Helen, I've only just got into nuno felt and love it but my attempts are very basic!

threadcircles said...

that looks great Helen, I love the sushi rolls!

ferinn said...

How fabulous !Lucky you to be able to spend a week doing something so interesting.Love what you produced.

Anne B said...

Lovely colours Helen. What a great time you must have had.