Aiming For One Thing, Ending Up With Another. As a textile artist, this is a situation with which I’m all too familiar. So familiar, in fact, I think it deserves its own moniker – hence AFOT EUWA.

Maybe it’s because the techniques I favour (wet felting and shibori dyeing) have some element of serendipity. I can never entirely predict how they will turn out – how the fibres will blend or what the exact shade of indigo will be. There seems to me to be less control than, say, in knitting or quilting – though knitters and quilters are doubtless already queuing up to tell me otherwise. 😉

I’m not complaining – quite the reverse. The unpredictability often sparks off new ideas and opens all sorts of new avenues to explore. (This was not always the case: as a self-confessed control freak, when I started working with textiles I used to get very frustrated when I couldn’t reproduce exactly with my hands the idea I had in my head.)

My latest AFOT EUWA originated last August, when I went to Edinburgh for a workshop in origami felt with Andrea Noeske-Parada. On the wall of the studio where we were working hung some samples from a previous workshop with another German felter, Charlotte Sehmisch.

cellular felt

On examining the samples more closely, I realised that the original structures were similar to the ones I made when trying to make a felt nautilus – and thought I could see how to cut into it to get a similar effect. I made a note about experimenting with this to produce something like an openwork scarf – and promptly forgot about it.

The idea resurfaced over Christmas – perhaps I was reminded by all the paper chains and other decorations! So I made a felt sample and cut into it – without revising my notes or referring to the photo, of course. 😉

The result, naturally, was completely different, and is obvious even in these terrible photos. (Very sorry about this but it is so difficult to take decent pictures in gloomy winter light.)

cell-felt1 cell-felt2 cell-felt3But I’m really excited about this. It’s given me a whole new raft of ideas about how to develop this further – some revisiting nautilus, others in rather different directions. Here’s to AFOT EUWA!

Quick update

I’m heading north tomorrow to Edinburgh, via various bits of Yorkshire and Tyneside, for a felting workshop with Andrea Noeske-Porada at Hat in the Cat. Very excited at the thought of being able to produce origami felt pieces like this!

ANP origami

I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of indigo dyeing this week, producing two scarves/stoles. This gold silk dupion is a heavier weight than I normally use, but it took the indigo very well, the colour shading from deep blue on one edge to paler hues of blue-green on the other.

gold dupion

This lighter magenta silk wrap also took the colour well. It’s difficult to see the pattern clearly in the photo because of the transparency of the silk, but it resembles very funky tiger stripes!

pink tiger

I’ll be putting these up in my Etsy shop when I get back from Scotland. Talking of which, there’s a 10% sale on until 14 August to celebrate the end of Mentoring Month. Many of the makers who took part in the mentoring exercise are participating in the sale, so there’s a lovely range of items – go and have a look! The discount code is MMSALE – happy shopping!