Saturday, February 16, 2019

Long Beach never FELT so good!

 I am blessed and very grateful to live in Long Beach, California and within walking distance to the ocean and various inland waterways and bays that make my city a paradise.  There is sand and grass and bluffs and sometimes mud and muck with beautiful birds and jumping fish. There are blue waters and green waters and oftentimes brown waters.  It's clear, it's calm, it's a high tide cresting over the life guide chairs or a low tide making it harder to climb up the bridge to cross the lagoon. I never tire of walking or riding my bike to the beach and playing endless frisbee with my athletic dog Kiza.  The beach and the ocean offer solace, sun, activity, reflection and so much more.  

I was inspired by my routine visits to the beach, the bay and the inland waterways to create a nuno felted poncho reflecting my vision of a compilation of of these scenes.

 I wanted to create the texture I feel and see at the beach so I layered the piece with wool roving, silk and upcycled fabrics, yarn, beads, threads, felted balls and cords to create a texture of the beach from the sand to the water and the two ebbing and flowing into each other.
 I put some plastic under some of the Margilan silk to create the feel of whitecaps and seaform.  I cut the felted balls in half and placed them under some silk to create the feel of silt, sand loam and shells.  The cords reflect reeds and growth along the silty areas of the inland waterways.


The Colorado Lagoon, Long Beach, California and its inspired felted works

 The Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach, California is an amazing urban wetlands and a place I frequent either on foot or by bike several times a week. I am lucky to live near this wonderful habitat which is less than a mile from home. It is a place to swim, sun bathe, bird watch, learn about natural habitat, reflect, walk dogs and more.  

When I first moved to Long Beach over 45 years ago, this place was referred to as the polio pit.  It was disgusting and the water was a wasteland due to a dry weather storm drain which allowed discharges into the Lagoon.  Spurred by the Friends of Colorado Lagoon, the Coastal Conservancy funded a restoration feasibility study which was completed in 2004. The restoration has been extensive and the 3rd phase was recently completed.  There are still more improvements to come.

The metamorphosis of the Lagoon has been amazing to witness and what a joy to see the flora and fauna return and flourish.  

I was inspired by the Lagoon to create felted versions, both a vest and a wallhanging.  I dyed the majority of the wool roving and Margilan silk that I used in the projects.  I made the cords and added them to the project during the prefelt stage.  I used many other fibers and fabrics along with beach glass, cocoons and more.

Hand dyed silk and wool roving

One side of the front of the vest.  I laid out two layers of wool roving perpendicular to each other.
Cords are fun to make while watching TV.

The white is plastic that I covered with roving and layer cut through the channel.
Resists used.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nuno Felted Collage Vest with Prefelts

I love layering texture, pattern and color to create the four way nuno felted vest. It's one of my most fun felted garments to make. It is such a versatile piece and can be worn in so many ways from inside out to upside down.  It is the perfect accessory to take on a trip since you can create so many outfits and have it go from enhancing a jeans/tee shirt option to layering it over a dress.  I love wearing it with more color or even pattern on pattern.  Here I have layered it with a long sleeve and long turquoise tee shirt by Mezo. The bottom back of the tee shirt even enhances the Margilan silk hanging out the bottom of the vest.  

I invite you to scroll down to see the process from the dyeing of white wool roving and white Margilan silk to making prefelts and creating the vest.  At the bottom are more pics of the finished vest.

From white wool roving and silk fabric to these luscious colors, hand dyeing with acid dyes is fun, inexpensive and rewarding.  And with this method, you don't have to worry about accidentally fulling the wool.  For complete instructions CLICK HERE.

Create a prefelt by laying out two perpendicular layers of various colors of the dyed wool roving.  To some of the wool, I added exotic fibers and to other areas of the wool, I topped it with various fabrics.  Here I used an assorment of prints and strips in silk and cotton voile.

Laying out one side of the front first.  This side will be the left front which will tuck underneath the right front when wearing it right side out.
The vest is created by laying out silk fabric and topping it with one layer of various colors of acid dyed wool roving after which cut up pieces of silk fabric are layered on top.  Next the cut up prefelts, that I previously created, as well as commercial prefelts are collaged on top.

Working the second side of the front but protecting the side I already created with a thin sheet of plastic. 

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