Friday, 1 April 2011

Inspiration musings.. and outcome

Sometimes I find that I have the beginnings of a design... that flutter elusively through my mind.  I find myself moving on and doing lots of other things with that one little flutterby still dancing in my subconscious.  Until something happens; I go somewhere or see something that strikes like lightening and I KNOW what I am going to do next. 

For quite sometime (probably about a year!) I have been thinking about cave paintings, petroglyphs & ancient stone carvings...  there is something so real, and familiar, and tangible about them.   How to bring them into my felt though....?  Which images...?  I wanted them to mean something to me, to be personally significant - as the cave-painting & petroglyph depictions were to their artists.

Firstly I was thinking of handprints.. Actually I have been thinking of doing a piece of family art with all of our handprints on for several years now (so I guess the flutterby was there longer than I realised :)  a touchable memory - more physical and 'real' than a photo.   This project is still tumbling back and forth in my mind - it will get out soon though I think :)

New and prized additions to my book shelf
I was absolutely delighted when I received my newest felt book Nomadic Felts - Artistic Traditions in World Cultures by Stephanie Bunn.  WOW what a book!  It really is a visual feast; the photography is excellent, the felts shown incredible.  The book looks at nomadic cultures and their feltmaking pasts and present, with really interesting photos and insights to nomadic feltmaking.  It has a section on pattern meaning and belief (which I havent fully read yet!)  I am about a third of the way through the book  at the moment and I'm sure I will be posting about it again when I have read through.  As soon as I unwrapped it, before starting to read I flicked through pretty much drooling over the photos.  When I got to the 'Meaning and Belief' section I was jumping with joy..

There is a photo of a petroglyph in Kyrgystan of sheep!  It is dated second millenium BC/early AD  - my heart leapt, this was it!  Being a felter -  sheep are fundamentally important to me (and as you know I simply adore the funny beasties :)  I like the simplicity of the image.. and thought it would translate well into felt.  And so..  I made some nice big tote bags, with a useful pocket felted inside

This is the 1st I made.  Icelandic wool, with merino for the sheep & a nice slubby woolen yarn squiggled on and felted in.
This is my bag and I want to keep it nice and long, as I can fit lots in there.. but I shall need to strengthen the handle area.  It is strong but it folds a little when the contents are (?too) weighty. 

2nd bag.. I put more sheep on this one and made it a little longer so I could cut the top section off, and use that to double up the handle area - its really sturdy now

3 sheep on the other side.
Hope they show up ok..I used highly saturated colours and they are a bit tricky (to say the least) to photograph.

I am working on an orange and gold bag now..  I felted it yesterday, its dry now and ready for me to cut and sew the handles when I get an hour or so.

The other book in the photograph is the Orchard Book of Shakespears Stories.. a childrens book that I spotted in Waterstones a couple of months ago.  The illustrations are beautiful!  Rachael has been studying Shakespear (A Midsummer Nights Dream) and I thought this would be a nice introduction to more of his work - its easier going for a 12 year old to read, and hopefully discover Shakespears magic.  I was absolutely stunned to find this book on Amazon 'nearly new' for 24p plus a low postage cost!  I had almost brought it at the RRP... so I snapped this one up.  When it arrived it was in pristine condition, you can even smell the new ink!  Dont you just love getting a bargain :) 

OK, time to go get some work done.  Have a wonderful weekend xx


Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new bags!! You're right, they are very 'cave-painting-ish'! Excellent work and I can't wait to see the ORANGE one! Giggle.

RMK said...

Great translation of ancient art!

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks RMK & Heather :)
Heather, had a feelin' you'd want to see the orange one lol

Angela said...

I love the cave paintings of sheep and you're right it has translated well to felt.


These bags are really beautiful Deborah - wonderful clever design as always. I've just put 'Nomadic Felts' on my (long) birthday list... And the interview was excellent too... Gill