Friday, 5 September 2008


I just finished my first piece of fibre 'art' (feels a bit strange calling it that, but I'm not sure what other word to use!). It's a small piece that I made, firstly using my embellisher, and then augmenting it with hand embroidery and beading.

It was my first serious attempt with the embellisher at really trying for different textures within the one piece, as well as actually trying to direct the way things turned out rather than it being entirely a case of happy accident (something that happens a lot with the embellisher, it seems!).

My inspirations were the textures and colours of the sea and sky from our recent trip to the beautiful island of Tiree.

I used a real mixture of fibres for the base feltwork of the piece: beautiful shades of wool roving courtesty of Sevenyaks, and iridescent angelina fibres and glossy Cotswold lamb locks from Woollady. There's also handdyed silk throwster waste, cotton neps (lovely pebbly texture!), ramie and banana fibres, and silk offcuts. These were all felted onto a base piece of cotton wadding.

Next I decided to add some more texture, this time by beading onto the felt. I used a real mixure: sapphire and emerald chip beads (thank you Pixiesmadepapercuts!), seed beads, Japanese Toho beads, Swarovski crystals, aventurine beads, wee glass clambroth beads, and the tiniest, most adorable glass seed beads (thank you SeedBeadStasher!) - I had never seen beads this small before - check the picture out to get an idea of just how small they are. I didn't have a needle small enough, so I had to hand thread each bead onto the cotton for every stitch.

Lastly I added another few texture details with some hand embroidery stitches - a few french knots (like wee carbuncles) and some tiny backstitch and split-stitch in wavy forms.

At this point I realised I hadn't given any thought to presentation, or how I was going to frame or display the piece! I realised that next time I should start with a bigger base piece to allow for more possibilities.

While I was on my metalsmithing course, I saw a piece of tapestry displayed in a frame, which gave me an idea for what to do with this piece - as prior to this I had been swithering about what to do with the edges - should I leave them, cut or trim them, or something else?

I decided to 'hem' the piece, which meant folding under the edges and sewing them down - taking the design right to the edges.

I mounted it on a piece of perspex (cut from the piece that came with the frame I planned to use - as I didn't want the piece to be covered at all, so that it is possible to touch it and feel all the different textures).

Then I mounted the perspex backing onto some plain cream handmade paper, and put it into the frame.
The name 'Atlantis' was suggested, and has stuck! Maybe it's the sea surrounding the mythical city, where the underwater world has taken over... .

1 comment:

NuvoFelt said...

You have been nominated! Please see my blog.
Oh, and I LOVE Atlantis¬!