3D multicoloured ribs

I noticed in my recent AFOT EUWA piece that the structure and texture of the “ribs” was more prominent when the piece was curled or bent, rather than lying flat. And with felt I have a natural preference for working on more sculptural pieces than 2D anyway. So the next step was to see how to incorporate the technique into a 3D piece.

This is the structure before cutting into it. Although it looks like a vessel, it has no bottom – I felted it round a resist left open at both ends.

rainbow ribs2

And here it is after cutting through to the coloured layers beneath. I experimented with cutting to different depths – the deeper cuts resulted in a wider opening with more of the “ribs” exposed than the shallower cuts.

rainbow ribs4

rainbow ribs9rainbow ribs5rainbow ribs7

There were several challenges with this piece.

  • Overlapping resists: Each of the colours was felted around a separate resist, which had to overlap with the adjoining resists. I normally use plastic floor underlay for my resists, which works fine in a single layer but becomes quite bulky when there are several layers, making the final piece tricky to roll and felt. I need to use a thinner resist.
  • Felting through several layers: I felted the colours lightly around the individual resists, but when I wrapped the dark blue wool around them all and felted them all together, some of the colours did not felt together as much as I would have liked.
  • Removing the resists: I removed most of the resists when I made the first cut, but this made it tricky not to cut too deep on subsequent cuts. In future it’s probably best to remove resists one section at a time.

Next challenge: to make a proper vessel!

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

5 thoughts on “3D multicoloured ribs”

  1. Thanks for your kind comments. These experiments have really given me my felting mojo back after all the pre-Christmas production line of shibori scarves! 🙂

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