Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Earthtone Rug

This post was inspired by and is dedicated to the artist Susan of Artspark Theatre and Tiny Theatre. A few days ago Susan (aka Artsparker) posted a wonderful picture which was the latest in her Alice series.

Susan's imagination, skill and use of light are fantastic. I've always loved woodland and the magic of Alice. They both hold a special place in my heart. This picture made me want to recreate the forest floor in a felt.

I was running low on wool but decided to experiment with what I had left. I laid out all the natural coloured wool that I had, which was a combination of Blue Faced Leicester, Manx Langton, Blended Jacob, Gotland and Doll Suffolk. I was hoping that if I laid out a wide variation of browns and greys the fibres would all intermingle and some fibres would travel down whilst others traveled up.

Here is the rug laid out to dry on the line supported by the bamboo blind it had been made on. I wish I had take photo's of it whilst it was wet, the Manx Langton wool had such rich fertile earth tones, and at times very cocoa like colour. When wet it made the Blue Faced Leicester layer on the top look black and charcoal coloured naturally separating into what could have been tree root patterns. This is not so noticeable when the rug is dry.

Here is the reverse side of the rug to show you the variations in colours.

The green pattern in the centre is supposed to represent oak leaves from the true flowers of the forest (trees!). The shapes didn't hold so well during the felting process. I may stitch leaf spine and skeleton shapes into the leaves to make them more decorative, but I'm not sure (suggestions welcome). For now I think I will leave it how it is.

The red, I added as it reminded me of autumn and I love autumnal woodland walks, happy days!

The white spirally swirls I added because I was worried that I did not have enough wool to make the rug thick enough (which happened to be the case), so I wanted to make rug a little more decorative in case it ends up on a wall. Whilst laying out the wool for this project the wool naturally weaved in and out, overlapping in places, very similar to woodland trails. I wanted to continue the gentle curved theme and also to keep the pattern simple. It is my first large scale project so did not want to over complicate the project or distract from the beauty of the natural colours.

During the felting process the rug shrank by almost half. It is quite usual to have around 40% shrinkage but it is so much more evident on a larger project. It made me smile.

I'd like to thank Susan for lending me direction for this project. Susan is a generous and supportive blogger, often spotting the subtleties that most others miss. Susan has a wide knowledge of the arts and literature which she quotes with humour and intellect regularly in her blogs. Please visit Susan if you have not already. You can find her at Artspark Theatre and Tiny Theatre.


ArtSparker said...

Wow, I am thrilled to have inspired this beautiful work. And thank you for your kind words about my blog.

velvetwoods said...

Oh the rug is just wonderful ! I like it just the way it is,loose,free and wild just like the woods.

FeltFinland said...

Lovely and fun to read about how you made it too!

martine frampton said...

This is really fabulous. I am just dying to have a go at a big project.
thanks for sharing
much love Martine

Caio Fernandes said...

this work is beautiful , yes .
and you are right , her blogs and personality always inspire who visits this magic world .
thank you for share Jasmine .

Jasmine said...

Susan -I'm glad you like it. Your Third Man series is getting more spectacular by the day x

Velvet Woods - Thank you. I love the amber tones in your recent posts. Has camera arrived yet?

Felt Finland - Thank you. I'm off to loo at your blog now. Always keen to see new felting :)

Martine - Thank you. I loved your felt fairy offerings. A big project is very satisfying. I'm just waiting for more wool to arrive so I can start another.

Caio - Thank you. You are right about Susan,a lt of peronality and magic x

Assayya said...

even from the picture i feel its tenderness.
how cosy it must feel in cold winters:))

velvetwoods said...

Hi Jasmine,
Thank you.My camera is not here yet,I'm very excited about it.

Tammie Lee said...

Wow, when you get inspired you really create amazing things! How wonderful that Susan's art sparked your muse.

kartika said...

I adore your work and the entire process is wonderful!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! that's a beautiful rug!