Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Deconstructing the Felted Landscape

The Felted Landscape?

That's the name of a one-day workshop I'll be giving at West Hartford Art League on Sunday, February 5, 2017, from 10 to 4.

Maybe some people are interested but hesitant because they can't picture what they would be doing.  So I wrote this blog post to show the steps.

Start with a landscape, real or imaginary.  I'm using this image of the Farmington Valley taken from Penwood State Park.  Class participants can use their own photos (preferably 8 x 10) or one of mine. Alternatively, people can refer to an imagined or remembered landscape.

You'll get out a light box and put the photo on it.  I'll have at least two light boxes for class participants to use.  There are also abundant windows in the classroom.

Here's the light box, lit up, with the photo on it.

Next, you'll layer a piece of raw silk on the photo.  It will be provided.

 Raw silk has a lot of nubs, which is why it works for needle felting.   I hope you can see the nubs in this image:

When you turn on the light box, you'll see the photo showing through the silk.  You may trace as many or as few details as you like onto the silk.  Or skip this step and create your image freehand.

Once the silk has the markings on it, it's layered with a piece of wool quilt batting and placed on a dense foam mat.  All these materials will be provided.

So here's where you get to play.  How about this stormy shade of blue merino roving for the sky?

The roving should be pulled into wisps.  I tell my students to get it so wispy that if it were a sound, it would be a whisper.

Then you'll start using a felting needle to turn the blue roving into the sky.  In this piece, I also added a form of sheep wool called curly locks to make the texture in the clouds:

Is it going to be fun to use these green curly locks to make the foliage?  What do you think?

Here's how my piece looked after about two hours' work, which is half the time allotted for the workshop.

Here's another example of a felted landscape.  This one is a sunset scene in a park, based on a photograph by my daughter's friend Khay:

Or how about this little wonder, below?  For this one, I just printed an aerial image of the Connecticut River directly onto fabric, and my teenage neighbor Grace felted it.  She just needled the wool directly into the printed image.

This is the absolute easiest way to make a felted landscape, and I'll have this image available, printed on fabric, for anyone who wants to get their feet wet by trying this most user-friendly of methods.

I hope this little photo essay shines some light on what may have been a mysterious subject for people.  Try it!  It's fun.

Sunday October 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., West Hartford Art League, 37 Buena Vista Rd., West Hartford, CT 06107

THE FELTED LANDSCAPE Diane Cadrain 1 day workshop
Working from a scenic photograph as a reference, participants in this class will learn to use the softest of materials, wool roving, as if it were paint, and manipulate a special barbed needle to create a felted landscape on a backing of raw silk.
Please bring a simple landscape photo to copy (preferably 8x10).The instructor will also have photos available if you don’t have one.
Visit: to see more of Diane’s Work.
DC125 | Sunday, October 16th, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Clubhouse Classroom
Fee: Member $84 Non Member $109
*Please bring $15 for materials

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