Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dr. Who's New Scarf

Dr. Who's New Scarf (detail)
The Heathlands Project, 2016

Over the past few years I've been building up the Textiles department at The Heathlands Project and it's now a popular and busy section. The members have really developed their skills and ideas and have been creating some very beautiful and inspiring work. Our timetables change every few months (with the members choosing which sections they want to work in) so my groups change and whilst some members always like to pick this section others like to try it for a while and then have a change. When the groups changed last year my Thursday Morning Textiles group decided they wanted to make work together.

Working together on large pieces of paper to create designs

Working together on large pieces of paper to create designs

Design ideas and notes
For their first project they decided that they wanted to use felt and we had a varied range of inspirations; space, flowers and rainbows. We began by covering the table with paper and everyone started to draw their ideas and designs onto this paper. This gave us a starting point for our felt piece which was made over the course of several weeks.

Laying out the base

Laying out the base

Starting to add the background

We began with a base of natural white fleece (because it's the cheapest!) and then built up the background with dark colours of merino fibres; black, dark greens and blues and purple. We worked in layers to make a strong fabric and it was good to see the more experienced members helping out those who were new to felt making.

Making the background

Making the background

On top of our base felt we used bright colours of merino and a bit of silk to create designs based on our original drawings. At this point the design of the piece really started to come together and we began to get an idea of how the final piece would look. Then the hard work started; rolling out the felt. As we were working on a big piece but there were quite a few of us we worked in teams to roll the felt until all the fibres were felted and holding together. Once again I was impressed at how well the group worked together, encouraging each other and cheering each other on.

Building up the design

Building up the design

Building up the design

Once the piece was fully felted and rinsed out we wanted to give it a title, as the piece was long and thin and definitely had a spacey feel we decide to call it Dr. Who's new scarf. The group worked so well together on this project from start to finish. I encouraged the members who'd done felt-making with me before to lead on a lot of the sessions and it was great seeing them take responsibility and explain how to do things. The group enjoyed the process so much they decided to carry on working as a group and create a winter themed hanging, more on that at another time.

The finished piece

Dr. Who's New Scarf (detail)
The Heathlands Project, 2016

Dr. Who's New Scarf (detail)
The Heathlands Project, 2016

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