I am submitting a felt art piece to a juried exhibit at the Ding Darling Natural Wildlife Refuge Complex Education Center on Sanibel Island in Florida. The exhibit theme is "Engulfed".
Once art pieces are submitted, they are juried by a Peer Review Committee and if accepted will be on exhibit from October 27th to December 8th 2016. It's a great way for me to share my art and maybe sell the wall hanging during end of the exhibit.
There will also be a traveling exhibit, Water/Ways, by the Smithsonian, at the Ding Darling Wildlife Society Refuge at the same time.
First I made a drawing of what I thought about creating. This will be made with six resists placed in layers to create a three dimensional wall hanging. The resists keep the layers from felting together. Then I drew the outline on a piece of resist. I use flooring underlayment as a resist.
The first resist is to lay the wool on and be able to turn it over, and the second piece will be cut into six resists to insert and lay wool over to create different elements representing sand, water and sky. Once it is felted sufficiently, the resists are removed and the pieced blocked and shaped to create dimension.
I cut the resists out and numbered each one with waterproof pen. Each layer will have a different color and texture of roving. The resists are cut slightly bigger on the side edges so the roving will be evenly felted in width.
The colors of wool were white for the sky, dark to light blue for the water
and yellow/beige for the sandy bottom.
When I am satisfied with the base roving layout,
tulle netting is placed over everything
Hot water is sprinkled on with a ball brause
and then liquid soap squirted over it
The hanging will need structure and the base layer will have all the layers felted on top of it. The base layer colors represent each layer which will be added later.
The tulle keeps the fiber from shifting around at first and then when slightly felted after a few minutes, the tulle is removed. Bubble wrap is on the bottom. I use a plastic bag under my fingers as it creates even pressure. Then I rolled the whole thing up and felt it by rolling it, turning it and rolling again.
The first layer below is the beach, which has white wool nebbs added to cabana blue and teal silk, mimicking a tumbling wave! As one layer is felted, a resist is placed on top and that layer is felted. The layers are felted from bottom to top.
The layers are added from the bottom up with a resist placed between them. I added some sparkly rock embellishment to the left side to see how it looked. They are part of the "mountains." I then removed them and sewed them in later.
Then the labor begins! It is felted gently at first over tulle netting, that is removed and replaced with bubble wrap. I know when it is done with the pinch test, and the felting process varies in time before it is achieved. This is when the wool can be folded over at the edge.
There is a lot of thickness in the middle of the wall hanging due to the layering.
After lightly felting for awhile, everything can be manipulated more. The resists remain in place at all times. Bubble wrap is placed over the whole thing and felting continues.
The layers are attached where each color begins and one ends. I thought this would give more dimension. Each layer is a different color and while drying is manipulated to suggest water movement. Wool nebbs were added to the wave at the bottom.
Needle felting folds into the wool will create dimension.
The wall hanging was stitched to a frame mat that comes with the shadow box frame. The glass was removed and not used and the hanging was sewn to the mat. It didn't matter that the mat had an empty space in the middle as the wall hanging is stitched to the outer border which is covered with another purchased mat that fit a 16x20 inch shadow box frame. The two mats prevented the wall hanging from moving around.
The matted hanging is placed in a white shadow box frame to enhance it yet not take away from it.
copyright images of Carol Jensen 2017 - 2018
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Carol Jensen Felting Blog