After thinking about it, I realise that my vague dissatisfaction with the hard and soft pieces I’ve made so far is probably due to the lack textural contrasts. Although the stones are hard and the wool is soft(ish), both have a very smooth texture, so the contrast isn’t as great as you might expect. Adding embroidery adds texture as well as colour.
So I decided to try using slate paddlestones, which have more ridges – this is the result.
This piece is very patchy – I took it apart and remade it several times while trying to refine the process! But I’m very happy with the overall effect.
I also revisited briefly my work on cellular felt. Unfortunately I completely cocked this up. 😦 There should have been 12 “cells” of each colour, but I miscounted the number of cells in the middle peacock blue layer, so there are only 11. As a result, the cells on each row don’t alternate properly all the way round.
I think I could add another layer in the centre to form a dahlia-like structure – though I need to solve the problem of how to get the middle layers to felt properly. But again, the sample was a good way of working through the process and refining solutions. I think this could work well on a larger scale as a wall piece.