Sunday, 6 May 2012

Artist Inspired - Ruthie Redden

I just love the work of UK artist Ruthie Redden!  Ruthie's work is inspired by nature, folklore and celtic mythology - please go along and take a look.. seeing for yourself will explain better than my words can.  I follow Ruthies blog - 5PreciousThings, which is a visual treat.. so grab a cuppa and piece of cake and go exploring into the magical and ancient! 

One of her paintings that I adore is the Moongazing Golden Hare...  I recently, and rather nervously asked Ruthie if I could make a felted interpretation of it.. and she kindly agreed :)  Thanks Ruthie x

I decided to make it into one of my favourite shaped bags, and spent a lovely couple of days felting doing it :)  This is how it went:

I wanted interest inside the bag and decided on a simple, celtic inspired spiral doodle in gold, cobalt and petrol.

This was the first fibre to be laid down, straight onto the resist so when it is felted and the resist removed the design will show on the inside of the bag.

Then I added 4 layers of fibre to make the pocket (3 Falkland + 1 merino) .
Next the pocket resists are positioned

Now I carried on laying the fibre layers down for the body of the bag;
3 layers white Falkland + 3 layers coloured merino - each layer of merino on both sides had the blue and green bands.

Handle loops were added between the 3rd and 4th fibre layers
 Once the 6 layers of fibre were in place I started building up the design.

The back of the bag

I used turquoise and mid-blue tussah silk to highlight the sky, and  cut a  silk cap to cover the moon 
The silk cap I used for the moon was actually the most boring - blah - beige colour imaginable.  It's one I had experimented with natural dyes on and it didn't turn out as I had hoped.. was just what I needed for this though!  After taking the above photo I added some of the moon-silk to the grassy area, and added some black yarn  to it too.

I outlined the picture with black woollen yarn (still had the moon to outline at this point)
I used the same technique for applying the moon and hare as I did with my dragon on the dragon bag..  I cut a silk chiffon template first and added the fibres on top on the silk (shame I forgot to take photos as I did this - I was quite lost in what I was doing at that point).

It took a lot of rubbing, rolling and whalloping to full it completely - I like these bags HARD.. that said they still feel lovely and soft to the touch but they have a nice sturdiness to them.

Internal pockets - after felting

Long strap - perfect for wearing across the body

Finished - back view

Finished front.
A little definition has been lost on the end of the nose - but considering how  thoroughly felted it is (and how much it shrunk!) thats not bad
I think the silk on the grass makes him look like he is sitting bathed in  moonlight :)



FeltFinland said...

Beautiful, must go check out her blog. How did you keep the detail of the hare and moon from moving around and distorting? was it a case of really gently rubbing early on and not rolling too soon?

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Amanda :)
Once I wet it out and am ready to rub, I cover it with a sheet of thin plastic which I also wet and lightly soap so my hands glide easily.. then I rub gently over the design until it has started to felt.. then carry on as normal

Els said...

Well Deborah, you did a wonderful job with this moon hare !!!
Love to see all the making-of pics, it's always good to see how many methodes there are to achieve a long lasting bag !
(I have a bag with a hare to, though a jumping one ha ... I made that one out of pre-felt ....)
Did you ever do an inside-out bag ?

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

Just beautiful! I would love to be a little birdie sitting on your window sill to watch you at work. Love. love. love.

Karen said...

Wow Deborah this bag looks excellent, i love the design and the celtic design inside the bag, I also really love the way you make the handles and the loops on the sides xo

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks girls :) glad you like him.

Els I always enjoy seeing & hearing how other people work too :) I dont do inside out bags .. (probably 'cos I'm a bit of a control freak lol) I like to be able to see exactly what's happening with the main design. I know that inside out bags work well.. and I have done inside out stuff in the past.. I just prefer working right-side-out :)


ThatFuzzyFeeling said...

Deborah, I love, love, love your beautiful hare! Such a delicate design - a bag to be treasured. I'd be very tempted to display it on my wall :)
Liz x

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Liz :)

Ruthie Redden said...

Hi treasure, just had to stop by here as well and tell you "thank you" with a huge grin on my face. I love what you have done with the moon hare design, its just beautiful. I love everything about this, the style, the colour, the handles ;-) Im very honoured & flattered that you chose one of my designs to do, thank you x ps: im still thinking about a felting design, think im a bit nervous about starting it eek x

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Ruthie :) I loved every moment spent working on it! Its such a peaceful design..
Looking forward to hearing how you get on with the kit

Silver Moss Jewellery said...

This is so beautiful (especially the rich colours), and love the step by step photos :-)

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Silver Moss :)

Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--Wow...another stellar project! It's fantastic, and you're right...I'm amazed that so much of your detail remained after felting it so hard. By George, I think you've got it! :)

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Heather :) I think its the silk chiffon!

Terrie said...

Very very lovely bag with clear outline of moon and hare. A functional picture indeed. Great to know how you laid the layout of pattern.