Most of my felting is very free form in the way I put colours and design together.
Wool layout for a scarf that turned into a bag – in navy, turquoise, aqua, cerise pink
It starts like this … and I feel my way with the project, which is a very organic coming together of colours and patterns until I love, love, love it!
If I’m working for someone, I focus on their energy while I’m working. That’s something I can’t explain to anyone left brained enough to want proof, but it’s a thing I do when I’m making felt, that also helps me get accurate readings for folks when they come see me for tarot readings. I think it’s a genetically inherited ability because my dad used to get psychic insights in front of those old roaring log fires way back when people actually used real trees instead of those ceramic logs that zip into flame with tongues of ignited natural gas.
Anyhow, I digress.
I’ve been thinking about felt designs today as I’ve rolled out pastry in my part-time job – which I have to say is the best little job in our small town, and which I sincerely try to fit into – but honestly, it’s a bit like a star-shaped peg squeezing herself into a square-shaped hole. It’ll work some of the time, but the rest of the time either the star gets cramp in her pointy bits, or the square gets prickly trying to reinforce its shape. (You’ve can’t help but feel empathy for both the star and the square really). Again, here’s another area where I’ve done my best to conform, but my arty intuitive self just keeps failing!
Normally, I’d balk at the thought of failing at anything, but this time I’ve come to realise, failure can sometimes be a kind of self-preservation at the soul level. Being a bit of an intuitive people pleaser means I can’t stand to feel the square reinforcer’s (and I use that term symbolically to illustrate my point here) irritation at my inadvertent bucking of the system – or should I say systems – as the whole job is broken down into methodical, productive systems – but I’m learning to live being constantly corrected for the sake of my sanity.
I also admit that I can be a bit of a square reinforcer at home when my pointy star-shaped teenage son shines brightly all over the place but doesn’t stop anywhere long enough to finish a job… “Oy, empty the recycle bin!!” Enough said.
So, there I was today, body doing the job, mind doing its own thing when it could, and I thought how nice it would be to embrace the square long enough to be able to do the part-time job better and also to create something more tailored than my usual freehand style of design.
I was commissioned at Christmas to create a black scarf with a “reserved pattern” for someone who doesn’t like to stand out in a crowd, but whom I’ve met once and was impressed by her vivaciousness which I think under other circumstances or cultural background may be more forthright. The scarf I made for her was quite challenging at first, as I had to put some actual left-brain logical thought sequencing to the structure of the design and colours.
However, I think I achieved a nice marriage of logical and intuitive because the finished scarf was so lovely, I would have kept it for myself had I not promised it to my customer! This is what it looked like:
Scarf in black merino wool with red silk hankies and grey silk chiffon inlays and rovings, dimensional wool, nuno felted onto silk chiffon
So despite my initial anxiety at creating this scarf, I fell in love with it.
And it is this boxy black and grey scarf that is the inspiration for my next work. Simple, structured design but using colours that are bold yet harmonious.
With the Easter long weekend coming up, I’m looking forward to playing!