I started off January by making a list of themes I wanted to explore this year.. And I actually started working on 2 of them IN January - now thats good going from me! There are a couple of other themes that I really want to work on soon, but I want to show you what I've been upto so far :) I'm going to be running with these for a while I think 'cos I am really enjoying them. So far I have started on Petroglyphs & Pictographs and Hundertwasser inspired projects.. and I'm going to start off by showing you my first Hundertwasser inspired bag, which was a nice little learning curve :)
I have been very much inspired by the work of Freidensriech Hundertwasser the renowned Austrian artist.. I love his use of colour and spirals and his love of nature. If you have a few moments and are unfamiliar with him, please go google.. the site I have linked to is interesting but there is so much more online.. I enjoyed this essay in Hello Magazine.
So far I have kept it simple.. using lovely colours and spirals, nice natural shapes and texture.. My first bags have been inspired by The Big Way painting..
I made my resist with the idea of 50 to 55% shrinkage. I enclosed my resist in 6 layers of fibre; the inner 3 layers are white Falkland and the outer 3 are coloured merino. The first thing I laid down was 2 inegral pockets to be on the inside.. with this first bag I just used 3 layers of Falkland for the pockets (forgot to take photos this early).
After laying 4 layers of fibre, I added loops to run the handle through.. These were short cords with a fluffy root left at each end, I incorporated the fluffy root in between layers 4 and 5 of the layout stage.
I didnt position it right at the top of the resist as I wanted room to cut the resist out and even up the top without having to worry about the loops getting damaged or weakened..
Once all the layers were laid I started spiraling :) This was the fun bit, it did take a lot longer than I expected though I must say.. laying out a nice spiral takes time!
I drew spirals on the front and the back of the bag using thin lengths ofmerino fibre, pretty BFL slubby yarns and boucle yarn which is an alpaca/wool blend - this is what the dark blue and charcoal is.
|These BFL yarns are part of the stash I brought back from Wonderwool last year,|
all naturally dyed by Alison at Pure Tinctoria
I got so carried away felting that I forgot to take pictures for a while now :( I dont have any of it partially felted, or as I cut the resist out.
For the handle I wanted to creat a double cord - a big loop that runs through the hanging hoops.. I felted a loooong cord leaving fluffy tufts at each end again. Onto the cord I twined all the colours that were in the spirals, they twist all along the length.
And then I felted that - the cord handle has a white Falkland core and 2 layers of merino, then the twist of fibre and yarn. It was worked in between each layer, but once the twist was on I REALLY worked it hard.. leaving the ends till later.
The pockets are not as tightly felted as I would of hoped.. I think its to do with the different character of the Falkland wool compared to merino.. and possibly 'cos I only used 3 layers. This is an area for improvement next time..
I am very happy with my bag.. and this one is MY bag :) a keeper - yay! I love the way that the white Falkland has crept through to the front making it all heathery - it brings all the colours together - so what could of clashed horribly is actually very harmonious.
There are a couple of things to tweak for next time.. The hanging loops are strong and stable, but maybe look a little thin on such a big bag - next time make them chunkier! The handle is super long.. I like that, I can wear it across my body comfortably, if I want to wear it over the shoulder though I would probably have to tie a know to shorten it a little - next time make it a tad shorter. And the inner pockets need to be sturdier, these are stable enough, but I like them to be tight and even edged, these are a little 'frilly'.
Next time Hundertwasser bag #2