Saturday, 30 January 2010

New Year for the Trees

The 30th January 2010 is Tu Bishvat, New Year for the Tress. Since reading about this festival in preparation for the Festival of the Trees, I have fallen in love with the notion of a holiday designated to tree planting. What a wonderful tradition. To mark this occasion I wanted to create something that honours the renewal of life, and love of trees.


A couple of weeks ago, my dear blog friend Yvette of Felting your Soul sent me a wonderful piece of hand dyed silk. The silk had been dyed with a huge chestnut leaf imprinting its colours into the centre of the piece and had oak leave painted around the edges with natural dyes. I've been so keen to work with silk, yet hesitant to do anything that may detract from the beautiful piece it already is.


So, when my Vicuna wool arrived, I decided it was so special it would be the perfect compliment to Yvette's piece. Vicuna is known as the fibre of the gods, one of the most luxurious fibres in the world. You have to touch it to believe it, softer than silk, just beautiful. The chestnut brown fibre you see in the picture above is the Vicuna.

According to my wool supplier, Vicuna is a relative of the Llama and Alpaca, two animals already well known for their soft wools. Living in Peru the Vicuna isn't farmed or domesticated as most fleece giving animals are, being allowed to roam free through the Andes mountain range.

To honour Yvette's piece, and in attempt to add to it without spoiling it, I laid out a small amount of viscuna oak leaves, and some oak leaves in white merino too. I then laid out spines to the leaves in silk tussah. But that is all i will show of this piece for now. i want to savour it and work on it some more.

Inspired by this piece, I decided to create another nuno felt to submit for January's monthly design challenge. January's theme is 'Japanese'. Nuno felt is a Japanese technique of laying down wool and silk together and driving the fibres of the wool through the silk until they bond and become one.

I am still familiarising myself with this Japanese technique but it is very addictive and the end results are so satisfying.


(silk side up)

(Wool side up)

All of the colours are natural and undyed. There is a real sense of satisfaction about working with the natural palate of nature. This is the kind of work I would like to focus on for 2010.

Thank you for the inspiration Yvette.

** IMPORTANT EDIT NOTE**

I have had a question about how the Vicuna wool is gathered. They are not farmed and the Vicuna is not killed to collect the wool as I have been advised was the process many years ago. My wool supplier advises that:

The reason the animals aren't farmed is because they have an amazing skill for being able to escape! Instead the regions in which the herds graze organise a "Chaccu" every year. Locals form a long line over the hillside and drive the animals into a funnel of coloured ropes which in turn lead into a corral. Once caught each animal is checked over and sheared, with just 200gms being taken from each.


42 comments:

tattytiara said...

You did a wonderful, wonderful job, complimenting the dye perfectly.

catieann said...

oh my goodness what a beautiful piece. thank you for sharing
catie

lynne h said...

oh my goodness, this is so soft and gentle, jasmine. and a beautiful tribute to the trees... (can we ever give them too many?) xo

Elizabeth M Rimmer said...

Lovely work, Jasmine, I am looking forward to seeing how you get on this year

Ginga Squid said...

Beautifully delicate.

FELT 4U said...

With everybody eating roasted chestnuts over Tu bishvat in Israel, I have lots of roasted chestnut shells and want to dye some silk. Any ideas or suggestions.
Elaine

lettuce said...

these are exquisite Jasmine.

I've not come across viscuna and was wondering if it was like alpaca - and then you explained it. I've spun and weaved with alpaca, its gorgeous stuff too

Titus said...

Such beautiful things!

Martine said...

What a beautiful post Jasmine! That little Vicuna makes my heart melt. Lovely piece you made with its wool.
Yvette is a sweetie. So nice to work together this way.
XXXm

Suzi Smith said...

Another absolutely gorgeous piece... (lovin the white spaces!)

quiltcrazygal said...

What a beautiful blog! I was visiting Jules and I saw your lovely ATC card in your posting and I had to visit. I'm so impressed and glad to have found you:) Do stop and visit mine also when you can. I love creating trees. I just made a winter postcard with them:) Blessings, Jenna Louise

La Dolce Vita said...

I love this piece Jasmine, it is just gorgeous... and i am always up for tree love...

Caio Fernandes said...

it got so interesting .
visceral and so organic !
pretty and chalenging !!

Lisa said...

My gosh, I learn something new all the time. It's so beautiful to create this way. I will look at this artwork in a whole new perspective.
Thank you.

Lisa

Carol said...

Fascinating. You have a beautiful blog and I am learning a lot from it.

Manon Doyle said...

Wow! Oooh Jasmine. I just want to run my hands over it. It's gorgeous and a wonderful tribute to trees!

Tammie Lee said...

oh my, this is a wonderful post. I love how the wool is gathered. Your second piece is gorgeous and I look forward to seeing the piece by Yvette and you.... whenever you share it. I want to touch this wool you speak of. I have a passion for soft things... cashmere has my heart.

joanne May said...

Hi Jasmine,
What a wonderful idea. Putting the wool and silk together. The leaves look stunning. This is a real woodland fairy, textile piece...
I love it!;)
Talking of fairies, I have sent you a reply email about the posters you were enquiring about. I hope you got my message ok?
Thank you for asking about the fairy posters. I will try and get some in my shop as soon as possible for this month!:)
Best wishes,
Jo.xx

ArtSparker said...

the leaves look also like footsteps along a path.

Jasmine said...

Tattytiara - Lovely to see you over here. Thank you for your kind comment.

Catieann - Thank you, pleased to meet you :)

Lynne - We can never give them enough. I have recently discovered lampworking. I am so glad you did not see your equipment, I have a feeling you would miss it dearly.

Elizabeth - Thank you, I'm lucky enough to have een advised by some wonderful felt artists these past months, so I have picked up some ideas...

Ginga - Thank you x

Felt4U - I found this flickr site that has some info. I will also look through India's ook and see if she mentions the chestnut. Have you thought of putting some into an erosion bundle?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25385389@N08/4028209489/

Lettuce - Its the first I have heard of vicuna too. On the original email my supplier sent out, there was lots of information about mythology and the inca's or azteks use of the fibre. I did not know there was a darker history to the harvesting of this wool.

Titus - Thank you.

Martine - The picture is lovely isn't it? It reminds me of bambi.

Suzi - Yes, the white spaces will be where I leave pieces of silk uncovered. I loved your white spaces x

Quilt Crazy Girl - Thank you for stopping y. This carpet ride is magic isn't it. I have connected with so many amazing blogs. I will pop over and see you very soon.

Cat - always room for one more tree hugger xx

Caio - Thank you. It is the organic aspect of the natural fibres, that i love. So eco friendly.

Lisa and Carol - Thank you for stopping by. Always pleased to meet new people :)

Manon - Thank you, I am wearing it right now. It fascinates me how much thhis process shrinks. I love it.

Tammie - Maybe one day I will get some cashmere. I don't know much about it or how it felts. I hear it is wonderful to touch.

Joanne - I did get your email. Thank you. I will have another look at your website. Off the top of my head I really love the recent picture you made of the big yellow sun and the hare. So wonderful. I will email you very soon x

Susan - I love forest walks :)

Jules said...

How fantastic, what a beautiful piece!

Mila said...

Hi Jasmine :) I love your "natural idea" as well as this gorgeous piece!
Hugs,
Mila :)

P.S. Thank you for stopping by :)

aleph said...

beautiful and extremely sensitive, it does honour Ivette and you! I admire the work and sensitivity of both of you.

Debrina said...

Hi Jasmine - what a wonderful insight into the process of felting! The Vicuna looks and sounds intriguing - it must have been a real pleasure to work with. The results are stunning. I have the most beautiful little book at home which celebrates at the spiritual nature of trees. I should do a blog posting on it!!

NEEDLEWINGS said...

How wonderful! Love it!

Sandra said...

Oh, this is so beautiful!!!!!!
An ode to nature.

Elizabeth said...

I love what you ahve done to yuour leaf dyed silk so far- what a glorious starting point!! i am thrilled that you have visited my blog as now I ahve been to your blog and seen a small portion of it's wonders and your talents. It is wonderful to meet you!!! I love love the holiday of the Tree's idea!!!!
I will be back and now I will spend my day with that delightful picture of the Vicuna momma and baby in the back of my mind_ such a wonderful image- Thank you!!
Best!
Elizabeth

anthonynorth said...

Anything that brings trees to people's attention is okay by me.
Enjoyed your post.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Sharing in the tree love... wonderful post! -J

Marilyn Rock said...

This is a gorgeous piece! I want to touch it! Glad I visited here; wonderful Blog. I will be back often.

jude said...

i love how the elements have merged....

Celeste Bergin said...

lovely homage to the trees

Lorraine said...

never heard of vicuna what a fascinating blog you have..you did a good job as the finished piece looks superb..thanks for visiting my blog. I have been caught with the dye bug now as so far the results have been great!

Dawn said...

Hi Jasmine

thanks for stopping by.
I live in the north east of Scotland in Aberdeenshire approx 300 miles north of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is such a wonderful city..

Great to meet you, love your giveaway too

Dawn

Carol Anne Strange said...

What a fabulous way to celebrate our trees. This is inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Jasmine. Bright wishes to you. x

Karin Bartimole said...

Oh Jasmine, these pieces are just gorgeous. They are a true honoring to trees and to nature in all it's fullness. I just want to touch, inhale, and be with these!!

Joei Rhode Island said...

Jasmine....a truly stunning piece. I'll bet it is as soft to touch as a feather. Your color choices were perfect. How did you like working with the vicuna? I've heard it is a bit tricky because the fibers are so tiny. Smaller than cashmere.

caramela said...

Hi Jasmine,
I am new here, and I just havve to say this post is wonderful and the pieces gorgeous!
Annamaria :)

Whimsey Creations said...

Your work is just beautiful! You are so creative and I'm bookmarking your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Delwyn said...

Jasmin

this is just beautiful - the colours so tranquil...I have no idea how this process works...can you describe it a little one day?

Happy days

Ann Marie said...

love any day celebrating trees too! you create the most lovely things!

Yarni Gras! said...

that is soooo lovely