I have amassed quite the backlog of finished projects that wait to turn up here on the blog, but somehow it seems that working through them chronologically doesn't work. So maybe starting with the most recent one and then working my way back works better.
Ever since last summer, where I was invited to run a full day workshop on abstract embroidery as part of the annual Filzfortbildung by Wollmodus, I wanted to learn more about felt. During this one day, my participants and I snuck over to the felting workshop, that was running at the same time as my workshop, every once in a while when we needed a stretch. Also we were just plain curious to see what all the other people were working on, and to me, apart from a few technical, basic aspects, knowing mostly nothing about felt, almost everything was fascinating.
The other thing that made me, or more my fingers, very intrigued about this material was a bag of felt leftovers I had been given by Sawatou, an Austrian-Greek textile artist who specialises in felt. Those felted pieces, made by Sawatou, looked and felt nothing like the felt I knew. The surfaces had all kinds of different textures, different materials were worked into the felt, and some of them were really fine, thin, while very compact and soft at the same time. When I started stitching on them, it felt like bliss. Especially when working with silk thread, this combination hit the sweet spot of density, ease of stitching with just the right amount of resistance to the needle, the way that pulling the thread through it feels - simply wonderful.
I hestitated for a while, because I know how prone to rabbit holes I am. It felt like this could end up being a distraction, but eventually I booked a workshop with Sawatou on felted vessels. I mostly work in 2D, so the thought of adding 3D as an additional challenge seemed right. My goal was to learn the basics about felting so that I could eventually start making felted pieces for my embroidery projects.
I ended up making two different shapes, once based on a sphere shape, and a cylindrical one, adding in specific techniques I wanted to learn, like working with resists and incorporating other fibers like silk, cotton or linen.
Here is the first vessel - 8 cm diameter; made from mountain sheep wool and a tiny bit of merino (the red stripe in the resist line).
And here is the second one, a cylindrical shape, lined with cotton gauze, made from mountain sheep wool and a few strands of unspun vintage linen fiber. Height 19 cm, diameter 14 cm.
I already started working on some 2D pieces for embroidery projects, all while still figuring out lots about how to achieve the texture of my dreams.