Friday, 27 April 2012

Petroglyph-ish... closer to home

The petroglyph work I've showed you so far is inspired by glyphs in Kyrgyzstan and Northern America.. which I love.  But I really wanted to do some from closer to home, knowing  that we have some beautiful Celtic carved stones.  The stones that inspired me for this bag are not exactly petroglyphs.. they aren't old enough.. but I love them.  They are carved stone figures in Caldragh Cemetry, Boa Island, Northern Ireland.. I have not been there or seen the figures in person, but for years I have been aware of and very taken with these enigmatic monoliths.  I found lots of really good photographs and detailed descriptions online, which I used extensively.  This was a good one.. Irish Megaliths 

There are 2 figures in the cemetery and they are thought to be over 1000 years old.  This bag is based on the bigger one - the Janus figure.  Janus was a Roman all seeing God, said to see everything from sunrise to sunset, past and future.  He was represented as a two faced God, looking both forward an back.

The stone of these figures is so deliciously aged & weathered - pitted, discoloured, lichen spotted - full of character!  I have always had a thing for lichen; I can remember my nan telling me off when I was little (regularly) for sitting on her garden path to examine the lichen on the slabs.. (she really didn't want me to ruin my socks :)   And I have quite a few close up photos of lichen covered stones in my inspiration folder - I've been planning to make a piece of felt depicting lichen for ages.  SO, with this piece I got to knock 2 things off my wish list in one go!  

This bag is made mostly from Bluefaced Leicester, 3 layers of white inside and 3 layers of oatmeal on the outside.. then merino and silks to form the picture.

I cut  pieces of silk cap (dyed with Woad & weld by the Mulberry Dyer) for the lichen spots
chopped chunks of white, charcoal and darkest green and scattered them for a stoney texture
I carried the lines around the sides so they would line up.  What you can't see here is the interlacing hair in between the 2 heads..  you can see it a little bit on the finished photos.

The 2 sides are different same as on the actual statue.  One side is thought to be male (the side shown here) the other side female.. the female side is poking her tongue out :) 

Part way through
Bluefaced Leicester is, I find, slower to felt than merino.. but makes a lovely tactile felt, nice and tight and firm - perfect for bags!  I used resists to make 2 internal pockets.. which I doodled a curly pattern onto so the inside has a bit of interest :)

internal pockets

Got my eye on you..
I love this close-up :)
Male side of bag
Female side..
don't think you'd know she was poking her tongue out unless I told you though lol
The Janus stone has a hole in the top for votive offerings.. perfect for turning into a bag :)

I'm planning to make one based on the smaller figure too.. that one is known as the Lustyman because it came from a place called Lusty More.  Don't think I'd best call it a Lusty Man bag though... it might attract the wrong sort of attention lol.  



Plastusia said...

Beautiful. Interesting pattern and lovely gently colours.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Plastusia :)

krex said...

Wow, that turned out great . Love both the attention to detail and the subtlety of the colors .

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Krex :) I enjoyed working on it.. it was an interesting project

Ruthie Redden said...

Wonderful inspirations, i too love celtic stone work ~ you have turned it into a beautiful design on the bag, it works really well,love the colours too.

Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--This is incredible! You are so amazing, my friend! It is fully realized in every way and so wonderful!!
(I love the idea of a "Lusty Man" bag...but then again, I would!!) Giggle. XXO-

FeltersJourney said...

Ruthie I dip into the lovely photos of celtic stonework and art on your blog for inspiration :) Glad you like him

Thanks Heather :)... your sense of humour is similar to mine if the idea of a 'lusty man' bag tickles you. I had thought of incorporating geoglyphs into some of my work.. like the Uffington White Horse, then I remembered the Rude Man of Cerne and couldnt stop giggling.. how silly am I?! :D