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Garden felting

For a very few days each year the blue irises in our garden are in bloom while the marsh marigolds are
still flowering. 
marsh marigolds
The complimentary colours of yellow/gold and purple/blue  are wonderful to behold.

We are enjoying a little heatwave just now so the other day I sat in the garden and did a little watercolour sketch of an iris.    And today I set about making an interpretation of these flowers in felt.

The first step was to select my colours of merino wool fibres.  It was definitely a question of blending as nothing I had was quite right for the irises - which are somewhere between blue and purple. 

I decided on the inlay method - that is, make some pre-felt for the various components of the piece and cut them into the various shapes that I wanted. 

The process of painting the flowers is helpful because it helps to analyse how the flower is formed.  The iris has three petals that point up into a peak, three smaller petals that spread out horizontally and a further three large petals that curve gracefully downwards with lovely markings that entice the pollinating insects.
I wanted to have a degree of 3-D so I employed resists to keep certain parts of flowers and leaves free of the main surface.

While one just has lots of fluffy fibres laid out on a table it is almost impossible to work outside because the breeze blows everything away, but once it was all in place and wetted down I was able to lift it outside and work on the picnic table at the studio door while enjoying the sunshine.


It has certainly been a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday.   I am writing this blog while waiting for the felt to dry enough to put it in the car and go home.  Tomorrow I will assess whether I want to add any stitching details or decide to leave well alone!



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