The thing about nuno felting is that you are felting fibers into an already established fabric. That means you must slow the felting process down, way down, to encourage the fibers to work their way through that fabric and then felt to each other. Since I do traditional wet felting, no needles and no machines, the type and density of fabric can take an already labor intensive process to a new level of time consumption and difficulty. I learned just how much so on the white dress I recently finished (updates and new photos to come). So, among other things during that project, I learned that 10mm silk habotai, while beautiful, is not ideal for nuno felting using the traditional wet felting roll method. But I love combining silk with super fine merino, its luxurious in its feel and flow. So my love for silk of course means that I've already added various types and densities of it to my supply of materials. And silk is expensive. And I now know that the 10mm I have is not so good for nuno felting. No worries. As I mentioned in my last blog post, nothing in my studio goes to waste.
I believe the visible details of "imperfection" of a piece that has been completely hand crafted by an artist is part of its beauty. I'm almost always drawn to a creation that is just a little different, definitely not perfect. But looking past those imperfections in my own work, is a little harder, so I decided I would make something in which they were obvious. Inspired by folk art and the traditional hand crafting of garments, as in completely hand stitched and with those stitches as a distinct and visible part of the design, I decided I'd try to incorporate that concept into a tunic design based on a linen upcycled dress I made recently. I used a lighter weight silk chiffon to nuno felt the bodice and then hand stitched silk habotai panels to the bottom. It's reversible, super lightweight, and since wool has thermoregulatory properties it would be wonderful for the hot and humid summers down here in Alabama, or anywhere in the US, as well as a great layered come the cooler months.
It's one-of-a-kind and available for purchase online here.
Want to try it on? Come on down and visit me in my studio located at:
The Flying Monkey Arts #269
2nd Floor Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment Complex
Hours: Wed 12-6, Thur 12-6, Fri 12-8, Sat 12-5.