July "Seed Pods" Blog Hop
July's art theme was "Seed Pods" hosted by Jennifer Cameron over at Art Elements. This theme was inspiring because I love the shapes and textures created by the variety of seed pods found in nature. I think many of us are captivated by the promise that seeds and seed pods hold. The potential of something SO small having the ability to propagate new life and often grow into something immense and magnificent is just awesome!
I knew I wanted to try wet felting wool ever since Cathy shared her tutorial for the making of her gorgeous work in our May Tidal Pool challenge. I even ordered myself a Palm Washboard felting tool, after watching her tutorial, so that I would be ready to wet felt as soon as I found the time and inspiration. This seed pod theme seemed like it would lend itself really well to a felted landscape with some embroidered detailing and that would also allow me to learn some new hand embroidery stitches. BONUS!!
Although my finished piece was drawn from nature, I definitely utilized some "artistic license" when combining several varieties of plants in one field that most likely do NOT grow together in the wild. LOL ;)
Prepared with my visual aids and concepts, I then got to break out my extensive collection of wool roving, wool batts and sheep locks. I've been stockpiling these supplies for needle felting (which I don't typically do, ahem) and that stash came in handy for my very FIRST wet felting project.
|I used a cost effective plastic boot mat as my water proof work area in my living room! No specialized tool there.|
I knew I wanted to emulate a sunset look for my "sky" and selected basic earth tones for the lower half, to create the base for my "Field of Seeds". My hope was that by layering the right hues and using good placement of the sheep locks for grasses and sky textures, it would all look amazing once meshed together into a wool felt base. I kept all of my parts crossed on this one!!! XXXX
With the wool strands strategically placed and underneath the mesh, I drizzled with the hot water and Castile soap mixture and began working in circles with the Palm Washboard tool to cause the wool fibers to bind together. LOTS and LOTS of circles (my arm and shoulder attest to that).
|The foundation has been SET! Let the detailing begin!|
I did add some topical strands of wool locks into the ground cover and some long horizontal strands of loose roving into the sky to bring some colors and textures back to the forefront after the flattening stage of felting. I hand felted dark brown wool puffs where the flax pods would be, tan puffs where the wild grasses would end up and needle felted the milkweed pods with the super fun wool nepps/nibs (the white wool micro-balls) inside for great texture contrast!
My plan from the start was to put stitched swirls of coordinating floss into the ombre sunset sky to create some much needed depth and texture in the top half of the piece. This is where the Starry Night influence came into play. I wanted to be sure that the sky would counterbalance the depth and weight of all the grasses and pods going into the bottom half.
Then I stitched in the stalks on the wild grass, the flax pods and outlined the milkweed pods to give more definition.
After all of the elements were completed, I felt like it really needed a few tiny pops of color to put some hues of the sky among the grasses. My inner child told me it needed to be Indian paintbrush flowers like my sisters and I always picked as children. They hold a special place in my heart, so into the Field of Seeds they went!
|PERFECT! Just the touch that it needed. LOVE it!|
Now, how best to display a piece like this? I loved the idea of a shadowbox rather than a mat and frame. I decided to make my own with cedar side pieces and no glass because this feltscape makes you want to TOUCH it.
|2 cups of espresso grounds with less than 2 cups of water yielded 12 ounces of super concentrated delicious smelling stain.|
|I have to say, staining this frame and making some coffee stained paper was aromatherapy of the best kind.|
|I ended up doing about 3-4 coats of the coffee stain to get the depth of color I was after and then finished and sealed it with coconut oil. As my dad said, "it smells good enough to eat!".|
I LOVE the color it created. It was the perfect, warm, caramel color to compliment such a rustic and organic textile art
display. Last but not least, the feltscape was mounted into the completed shadowbox, which meant I got to use my dumbbell free weights!! SWEET! LOL 😂😂😂
This is one of my favorite creations to date.
I love the colors, textures and dimensions created by the wet felting, needle felting and hand stitching combined.
This is "Field of Seeds". I feel like this art form does for painting; what braille does for the written word. You have to FEEL this one to really see and appreciate it to the fullest.
I hope you enjoyed my process and my work - and PLEASE BE SURE to check out the amazing offerings of my fellow artists in their blogs!
Love and Light 💖 ~ Raven
Raven (YOU ARE HERE 👇)
Art Elements Team: