Experiments in mixed media and techniques

The felt and fiber studio issued a 2nd quarter challenge to take pictures of things that you might usually pass by and see how the details could inspire us to felt, knit, weave or sew something. I took a photo of chipped paint on cement.

Inspiration photo

I decided that I really wanted to play up the multitude of layers on the cement by creating each layer using a different media or technique and exposing each one through holes and rips in subsequent layers.

The first layer is a brown silk scarf that I nuno felted with brown, green and cream wool fibers. I purposely left a lot of the silk exposed so it would get textured when I fulled the wool.

Wool layout of green, brown and cream pencil rovings on top of a brown silk chiffon scarf.
Nuno felt laid out

The second layer is paper rods made from navy and gold mulberry silk paper that I created using the Korean papermaking process called joomchi and the 3rd layer is free motion embroidery on cheesecloth .

Paper rods made from blue and gold mulberry silk paper using an ancient Korean papermaking technique called Joomchi on a layer of cheesecloth with blue free motion embroidered circles
Joomchi paper rods and free motion embroidery on cheese cloth

The final layer is also made with the Joomchi method. This time I fused multiple sheets of mulberry silk paper in different colors and created rips in the paper that expanded into the thin “ribs” of paper across the center.

Multi layered mixed media with joomchi paper on top followed by free motion embroidery on cheesecloth followed by joomchi paper rods and finally by a nuno felted scarf
All four layers combined

So now I had this almost 4 foot long multi-layered piece and had to decide what to do with it. My mother convinced me that it would make a nice wall hanging but we both thought that it needed a little something extra to tie the colors and layers together. I started by building on the felt rope I created to hang it – that had a feel of macramé so I kept adding ropes in colors that I pulled from the piece. I also added one little slice of wood and took a picture to see if I liked it and wanted to add more. It was at this point of taking photos that a completely different image emerged for me.

4 ft Wall Hanging mixed media with paper, felt and fabric
New image emerges when I hang it up

It could be because I watch too much Project Runway but I see an evening gown when I look at it now. I decided to play on that even more and added more ropes as a “belt” to finish off the design.

4 ft mixed media wall hanging depicting an Avant Garde evening gown with felt ropes, ripped paper and fabric.
The Avant Garde Dress?

Having just watched the red carpet at the Met Gala, I am pretty sure this outfit would have fit right in. What do you think?

What else do you see? My daughter sees a waterfall, my mother sees skulls. It is like looking at clouds – I can’t wait to bring this one to the art fair and see what others visualize.

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