My studio – aka the second bedroom – got a bit of a tidy this weekend as we are having builders in to quote for a new roof. ( It currently has a horrible leak which doesn’t encourage me to go in there and work! ) As part of the process it will also be getting a skylight which should do wonders for the level of light. In the meantime here is a look at the ordered chaos!
I love the quote on the bag from the Van Gogh museum ” I hope to do it better in time. I myself am very far from satisfied with this but, well, getting better must come through doing it and through trying.”
I am a little in love with Vincent Van Gogh – especially since I played his landlady/lover in the play Vincent in Brixton a few years ago. (There is no actual evidence that Ursula Loyer was his lover except in Nicholas Wright’s imagination, but it’s a wonderful play about the nature of creativity.)
Vincent in Brixton
I’m here on a felting holiday with Nicola Brown. My technique is improving in leaps and bounds. One of the things we are learning is Eco printing which is different to dyeing as Nicola keeps emphasising.
Here is our first experiment being laid out to see what result we get from the eucalyptus and oak we have picked.
Although this blog was started to discuss feltmaking embroidery seems to have taken the upper hand of recent times – mostly as it’s easier to carry round and grab the odd half an hour here and there.
I did a feltmaking course with Heather Belcher at the City Lit in March, which didn’t really get a mention despite being tremendously useful. Coming at feltmaking from a fine art and sculptural perspective really suits my style and gave me a number of new ideas and ways of working…
However apart from those four Saturdays I haven’t really done anything worth mentioning until the recent bank holiday weekend. I go to Portugal next month for a week long feltmaking holiday with Nicola Brown, and I thought I really ought to get in some practice – so I felted a new hatband for my straw hat (I am hoping the weather will justify wearing it!!) The design is based around a bowl I produced in Heather’s course.
The grey background references stone walls and lichen, and the flowers are made from some of the naturally dyed wool I brought back from Wild Rose in Scotland last year. I carded this together with some bought Shetland and silk mix. They are primroses although a bit big to be naturalistic – I really must get it into my head that Shetland doesn’t necessarily shrink as much as Merino! But I am pleased with their delicacy. I decided as they were on a hat I didn’t need to felt them as hard as I might other items. I even used some embroidery wool to add a properly primrose like yellow centre. I debated whether to put some leaves in, but ultimately thought that the more two tone yellow and grey was rather lovely and I didn’t want to disrupt it with any green.