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Woolgathering

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What a wonderful word it means to engage in idle fancies and daydreaming and to gather tufts of wool, shed by sheep on fences.

Both of these describe me lost in my creative thoughts and the delight when I come across bits of fleece trapped in fences or on the side of the road. Having learned how to make a spinning stick for use when you wander along lanes, gathering bits of fleece lend themselves beautifully to on the hoof spinning.

My spinning has taken me through Shetland fleeces, alpaca fleeces and into the world of natural dyeing. Then this week although not a trapped piece of wool but rather a large and colourful Jacobs fleece arrived and as I unwrapped it the colours of white, tan, browns and black emerged from the packaging. A deep soft fleece that promises to spin up into a colourful yarn. It has been washed and is now drying in my herb dryer in the greenhouse.

This fleece will accompany me on my travels, in my old VW campervan, as I take time out this summer to travel across Europe and my hope is that I return home with yards of yarn for weaving or knitting.

Pictures will follow.

 

 

 

 

Silk Paper

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I appear to be in a creative zone, from art dolls to silk paper

I used this picture as my inspiration

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Using cocoon strippings I made a base fibre and added tussah silks to create a cross like image

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Next I added merino and silks in greens as a background colour

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Then I decided to pick up on the tulip shape in purples, blues and red merino and silks

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The effect was quite nice, but difficult to see clearly, so I decided to add fabric paint to distinguish the tulip shapes

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Art Dolls an Italian experience

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Travelling to Italy with doll making on my mind,

I stayed in a Magical Art House, my doll to find.

Butterfly exhibits, markets full of scarves,

Italian wine and cheese, Italians do nothing by halves.

Trip to Niki De Saint Phalle sculptures all around,

creativity, inspiration and the Empress crowned.

Now back in Scotland with an alchemists  haunt,

I place fabric and colour from my Italian jaunt.

Empress here she is

The Empress of the park

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The Felted Stone

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I am very excited to let you all know about my new (soon to be live) web space.

The Felted Stone will be a place of creativity, meditation, and transformational opportunities.

Here is a little taster of some imagery for chakra work

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Spring Flowers

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Spring is bursting forth, I think all this wonderful fresh energy has had an effect on my psyche and I have just finished making 14 flowers for brooches and hairclips.

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A friend gave me a colour pallette to make a unique birthday present for her mum, so armed with silk hankies, coloured silks, and merino, I entered my world of felt alchemy.

The flowers are all wispy, floaty yet very sturdy, some have angelina fibre in them for a little bit of sparkle, fresh water pearls and glass beads.

The rest of the gang of 14, will go to a Balkan mountain event celebrating music, community and nature, and I can imagine women wandering the mountains with my flowers in their hair or on their clothes.

Felted pod aspiring to become a handbag

All those gorgeous, rich, jewel-like, dyed fibres came together to create this 12″ high felted pod, but it is calling out to me to become a handbag. I hope I did the fibres justice and kept their beauty.

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Diving in to dye pot

Dyeing fibres has been such fun, armed with 5 boxes of acid dye, merino, silk, silk carrier rods and silk cocoons and regular wool fibres I started mixing colours. I used steam dyeing as it seemed like the easiest way to start on this journey and I only wanted to dye small batches of fibres. So really it was more like an experiment in my kitchen laboratory. 

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this photo is dyed throwsters waste, silk carrier rods and wool, my loose plan was to gather a colour range together for make a Spring Equinox Pod

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more silk carriers rods, which are great fun to play with, once wet they can be peeled apart and stretched to create interesting shapes

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The silk cocoons work in a similar way and can be unravelled

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these just shine like jewels, I love using these for embellishing

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merino fibres just soaked up the dye, I love how the colours variegate

Felted Pods Inspired by Underwater Themes

I have just made a group of felted pods or vessels, this is my first exploration into the world of making vessels and I am really happy with them, it’s becoming quite addictive. I started off with a plastic template, I felted around it, then cut a small opening and whilst it was still wet I shaped it into a pod.

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Needless to say as I am also a lover of embellishments and bling I wasn’t happy with the basic shape and went on to add embroidery, bead work and even dabbled with pre digitised embroidery, as the pods developed I could see how they all linked to my love of under water themes

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The first two pods are on white merino felt with merino and silk details, and some beading

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Then I went for stronger colours to make this little coral pod

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For my next pod I wanted to play with the idea of handles and a hand embroidered tree

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After making these pods I started to get brave and decided to try a larger size, I added a loop at the top for hanging itImage

 

And of course then I wanted to pull in some other skills I’ve acquired over time, namely machine embroidery, so after one restless night I woke up with a plan to make this little pod to celebrate spring

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My next challenge will be to make a large pod, egg shaped with more decoration, I want to celebrate the Spring Equinox, I have dyed silks and wool fibres – I’ll show you those on my next blog and by then I will have formulated my thoughts for a larger pod project

Fibre Art Inspired by Jackson Pollock

I recently took up the challenge of a Jackson Pollock inspired piece of work. At first I was not completely taken with the idea as his work is huge, all over the place or so I thought, but on further investigation of this artist I was hooked.

The piece I made was inspired by Pollock’s Moon Woman, especially since I have just finished a moon woman felted piece.

Firstly here is the felted piece it’s depicts a mother and daughter reaching out to each other across the moon.  I quite liked the idea of cutting the moon (another of Pollock’s works), then following his technique I lay the piece on the floor and got splashing with a select range of colours and allowed myself to be inspired by the movement of the fabric paint and the image below. Quite an experience, thoroughly enjoyed myself and I feel that the work has become energised too. I’ll let you decide that one…..

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Once I had wet felted and embellished this main piece I went onto to give it the Jackson Pollock treatment, here is a little video of the experience

From the first image this is how my Moon Woman developed, the process was liberating and lots of fun and personally I feel she has an edge of energy in her that didn’t exist in the plain felt work – but you may have different thoughts.

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Moon Woman Completed

Initially I wasn’t sure if I should add stitch and beading to this piece, then I went for it, I’m so glad, now she just pops. This piece has been made from wet felted merino on sheep wool, with silk, and fabric needle felted into the background felting, machine stitched and added bead work. I’ve added a close up too.ImageImage