Sunday, June 3, 2012

Background Felting

 Finally a free afternoon to lay out the background sky and leaves for the felt wall hanging (photo hanging in the background... green apples.)  I prepped the pool table with cardboard and plastic.  Laid out the blue pool lining bubble wrap...
 then placed the rough batt of merino wool fibers.  It needs to be 50% bigger than the finished size to allow for shrinking in the felting process.
 On top of the natural colour batting, I places fine wisps of sky blue merino, first in one direction then in the other.  A criss-cross layering allows the wool fibers to grab each other during the warm soapy water stage.
 The photo above shows the first fine layer of blue merino, and the pile of blue roving that the wisps are pulled from.
 Next I cut leaves and stems from the pre-felt that I made a few weeks ago.  I placed them where the slightly blurry, background leaves and stems appear in the photo.
 A few more whisps of blue over the edges of the leaves should help the shapes to "sink" into the sky and be a bit less contrast than the larger leaves and apples that will be appliqued after the felting process.
 Above is the beginning of the wetting process.  I lightly sprayed warm soapy water over the details.  This is delicate, as a heavy spray can dislodge the leaves and the layers of fine merino sky.
 Once details are wet, then the whole piece is soaked in warm soapy water, covered in plastic wrap and rolled up in the blue bubble wrap over a pool noodle!  I tied it tightly and rolled it back and forth and back and forth.   So far I have rolled for about an hour.
I was too tired to do more, and the piece can sit like this for another day, so that's all for today.  More tomorrow!

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