Skip to main content

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!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Guide to Commissioning a Liturgical Stole

This post is aimed at those who may never have purchased a stole before.  Perhaps you are preparing for ordination or maybe you are commissioning a stole as a gift.   There are so many possibilities for a stole that it is difficult for some people to know where to begin.   Here I try to guide you through the process and ask you to consider many different things so that you can arrive at the right decision when it comes to making that purchase or placing an order. The stole is an ecclesiastical vestment worn by ordained clergy in most western Christian traditions during church services. The wearing of stoles goes back to the very earliest times of the Church and references Jewish traditions as described in The Old Testament.   "And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty" (Exodus 28:2).  It is a long, narrow strip of cloth, usually embellished in some way and is normally in the specified colour for the liturgical season - although some P

Introduction

I am Ruth Black - a textile artist working along with my daughter and granddaughter in the Highlands of Scotland.  "The Workshop"  is an old wooden building in the village of Inchmore, just 6 miles from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland and dating from the mid 19th Century.  Originally it served as a joinery workshop but now it is home to a three-generation family team working with a variety of textile processes, fibres, fabrics, yarns and threads. When we first took up occupancy of The Workshop in 2011 the main focus was to carry on our family business, Anna Macneil. Anna Macneil (aka Barbara Morrison, 1929 - 2017) started making hats using Harris Tweed from her home on the Isle of Lewis when she moved there in the 1980s.   She was joined in this venture by me, her daughter, in the 1990s but she continued making hats until a combination of poor health and failing eyesight made it no longer possible. However, the business is still carried on by me with help f

The Hilton of Cadboll Pictish Stone - a design for a stole

Here in the north of Scotland, we have been in a covid lockdown for a month.  We have been told by the government to work from home if we can, so as I had lots of design work to do and no urgency on any of the making, I brought the computer home - good excuse because it's warmer here than in my workshop! The only interaction I have had with the rest of humanity has been through the medium of Zoom - for conversations with family, for church services and the occasional face-to-face with a client. A couple of weeks ago one such meeting took place and my client has commissioned me to design and make her ordination stole.   In the past she had worked on the Hilton of Cadboll project which was a "millenium project" - part archaeological excavations and part having stone mason Barry Grove carve a replica of this famous Pictish stone. The original stands on display in the National Museum of Scotland.  The "new" one is not so new now.  Looking for my photographs of the r