So this piece is still pretty rough and a little difficult even to show, but that’s how everything starts out. This mandala will almost exclusively be made by needle felting. This process mechanically forces the fibers to tangle. The first mandala was about the melding of world views, this one is more reflective of world views forced on us by birth or environment. I’ll go into more detail when it’s completed, which might be a while. This will require many, many more hours at the felting machine.
This is a walnut vase I turned on my Delta Midi Lathe and carved channels into with the idea to inlay a mixture of crushed glass and resin. However, I did a test of the inlay and a person who I trust for their candid opinion said that it looked like someone threw up glass, so that idea got put on hold . So it sat on a shelf for several years just waiting to be finished. So here comes the felt! This is a functional vase with a glass test tube insert.
The wool is a mix of mohair and shetland. The nubs were initially needled felted to strips of cotton, which were then affixed to the carved channels. Then additional needle felting took place, carefully working to get symmetry.
Hand-dyed and needle-felted Shetland wool. 10’L x 12″H x 1.75″D This piece covers an entire wall, so sizeable length makes it difficult to show online. Thus, the detail shot and I will put a higher resolution shot on the website. Individual “letters” are three-dimensional felted objects, each pinned to the wall. Each shade of blue was dyed separately and color gradations were carefully created in the needle felting process.
The “letters” do not have direct meanings or pronunciations, though the phrasing was carefully chosen through extensive writing /sketching. Though I am usually Google Image-happy, I purposefully avoided researching languages, as I wanted to let the shapes be influenced only by my pre-existing references, subconscious or otherwise. Frankly, I’m not certain why that was so important, but it was. I guess a thought would be that I should make another after taking a look at world languages and see how the additional visual references get assimilated.
Step 1: Spend way too much time making felt balls. — Oddly enough, it’s a soothing exercise. When I was too tired to do anything, let alone think, I could still make felt balls (which involves a very sharp instrument, so don’t discount it completely).
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Step 2: Make pod shells – sadly, I have a disgraceful camera, so these are more dark reddish purple than what you see here.
Step 3: Sew felt balls into pods.
Step 4: Realize it needs something more.
Step 5 (WILL BE) to create an approx. 5′ abstracted branch form from cherry ply, so the composition you see here will not be the final layout. It will be much more stretched out. Or so I think…
Here’s a fun little new guy. This was made by needle felting. It’s a very simple process. You take loose bits of fleece, lay it on something like a pillow or foam, and stab at it with a felting needle, which is rather large, barbed, and extremely sharp. You really just stab things into shape. How often can you say that?
Fleece courtesy of my mother, which she hand dyed, naturally. 🙂