Sunday, March 22, 2020

Covid 19 Inspired Painted and Felted Silk

I just finished felting one of the 5 momme habotai silks that I created last week in Ellen Bakker's silk painting workshop on charming Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.  Fiona Duthie and Ellen teamed up in Fiona's neck of the woods to combine the beauty of Ellen's silk painting with Fiona's felting.   
There were several three day workshops and the luckiest students got to first silk paint with Ellen and then felt the painted silks with Fiona creating complex and beautiful garments. Due to time constraints I was only able to take Ellen's silk painting workshop. 

 What a transformation!

From ugly duckling Covid 19 inspired painted silk to a beautiful felted wrap.  I am so jazzed!  And jazzed too that I was able to even attend this outstanding, inspirational workshop and then able to depart Canada just days before the borders were closed due trying to flatten the curve on the spread of the Covid 19 virus.  

I learned so much in the workshop and can't wait to paint in my studio.  I have already built my silk frame and ordered my paints.  But I was not at all happy with this painted silk piece but boy did it transform!  In class I painted the whole
thing a chartreuse color. I then wanted to outline some shapes with turquoise.  Well what a learning experience that these paints are so transparent that my turquoise created a hideous bright emerald green.

I cut the 44" x 84" painted silk in half to create two long pieces which I slightly overlapped to create an L shape. I laid it on my table right side down (I had painted words so it did matter).  Using four different colors of merino wool roving including one that is variegated and called Peacock, I laid down one layer in a herringbone pattern.  I then added additional silks in various colors including a green one with black polka dots and another which was the first painted small sample.   On top I added some prefelts that I had previous created with sumi ink that I had learned from Fiona in another workshop.  I also added a few black prefelt circles.  The shrinkage was about 35%.  This long wrap can be worn in lots of different ways.  I love it!

Thank you Ellen and Fiona for such an outstanding experience on beautiful Salt Spring Island.  We all made it home in the nick of time!  

Be well and healthy everybody and happy silk painting and felting while sheltering in place.
This long wrap can be worn in so many different ways.

I used four different colors of roving.  I did not use the green roving in the top right but instead added a dark blue.

Painted silk is underneath with right side down.

Silks added on top of the roving and then black & white sumi prefelts added on top.

Color Collaboration Ellen & Fiona

Salt Spring Island, BC
I learned that these balanced rocks are called inukshuk (plural is inuksuit).  Traditionally constructed by the Inuit, inuksuit are integral to Inuit culture and are often intertwined with representations of Canada and the North

Ellen demonstrating a technique.  Her work is in the background.


  1. Wow what a great scarf and a great learning experience!

    1. It really was a terrific learning experience and thank you for the compliments on the wrap.