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Felt Landscapes

posted Aug 9, 2011, 11:32 AM by Kathleen Peters   [ updated Aug 9, 2011, 12:53 PM ]
When I first started felting, I really struggled with color.  I sometimes found that after I had fulled a piece, it became muted and dull.  I would gravitate toward colors I liked, but found they changed and became muddy when the whole piece was finished.  To counteract this, and to approach what I was really trying to accomplish with my work, I spent countless hours studying color.  I dyed, I fulled, I hand spun different colors into yarn to see the effect of mixing.  I read about color theory.  I spent an exorbitant amount of time paying attention to what I was seeing outside; I really studied the world and its colors around me.  Then I went through a period of time felting images on white backgrounds - birds, flowers, trees.  I really enjoy doing this because it makes the images pop out at the viewer.  I find it very striking and I think it often gives a bold twist to my work.  However, I have lately been experimenting with doing complete landscapes in felt.  I love two of my latest pieces, "The Summit" and "Dixville Notch".  

"The Summit" - 2011

Dixville Notch, NH - 2011


By using my entire pre-felt as a canvas, I am able to create complete scenes.  I can't believe how freeing this has become.  It has opened up a world of possibilities to me, and I am frantically dyeing up more wool for skies, trees, foliage, mountains, flowers - the options are limitless!  Over the last week I have dyed up 40 batches of wool in colors I have not worked with before.  Using my hand carders further extends my color pallet.  Using them to mix my wool, I can get exactly the color I want, just as a painter mixes paint.  For example, by adding blue fiber to red your eye loses the colors of the individual fibers and you see purple even when none of the wool is actually dyed purple.  This is how I can achieve shadowing, shading and subtle color gradients that I have been striving for.  It is fun when you feel you make a giant leap in the direction you have been striving for!




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