A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Serendipity with Felt and Paint!

This latest technique of mine came about by accident. I had 'bonda webbed' an inkjet print from one of my photos onto some felt, something I learned from a workshop with Maggie Grey. Unfortunately, I used too much water, and the image all but washed away. I decided to try and rescue it by adding paint, and it worked really well. I used a combination of acrylic and watercolour, and was very pleased with the results. However.........

........when I tried it again, straight onto some virgin white felt, the paint was difficult to get to 'stick' to the fluffy surface, and the colours were muddy. Why I wondered, was this second attempt such a failure? I had a bit of a think, and then decided that it must have something to do with the bondaweb and paper residue left behind from my first, successful attempt. I sorted out some chinese watercolour paper that I've had for years and never used, bonded it onto the felt, washed off the top layer, dried it and started again with the painting. Hey presto! it worked a treat, and here are the results. 

That's not quite the end of the story though. I have also discovered, and really like the 'relief' effect this technique gives. Once I've added all the free machine stitching, I give the whole thing a steam press from the back, which must slightly shrink the felt against the stitching, giving a really textured depth to the surface of the finished piece. 

It's so satisfying when something like this happens, and especially when it feels like a technique I will be more than happy to continue to use. The first two images are still life flowers from my imagination, and the Cormorant above is my journal quilt for March, inspired by a photo I took in Dorset a couple of years ago.

Couldn't resist adding the image above showing the reverse of the Cormorant. He doesn't look very happy does he? Oh well, maybe he doesn't like being photographed eh!!

Hopefully see you next time.