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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Tyrer

How I decide on a colour palette I confess never have checked a colour wheel to decide

My first move when I want to create a work in felt is to have already decided what colour will be the predominant of this piece. Having already checked if I have silk fabric which I decide on depending on the finesse of the work I want to produce which itself is given by the wool I have decided to use.

some considerations on this point

a.if I want extremely fine I go for Uzbek silk and an ultra fine merino milled with silk in Italy.

b.fine medium thickness, still very thin I chose tissue silk fabric and the same wool/ silk from above.

c fine thickness tissue silk or pad 3.5mm if available or silk fabric from Treetops gauze like cannot remember the name very open weave, and use a very fine layer of 18.5 micron merino wool that I lay in just one direction, along if the fabric is quite long or across if the fabric is wide. just one layer of 18.5 merino. then a thin layer of ultra-fine merino from Casalana where I spread very thinly the staple over the laid wool ideally in a criss cross direction to the laid 18.5.

d. medium thickness same as above and lay two layers of 18.5 criss cross or in a disorganised way that will ,however fine, give me a thicker base where to lay whatever I've decided to use, which can be printed silk, hankies, throwsters etc etc

I do not use 18.5 merino as a feature anymore.

I rarely use pieces of silk as surface decoration.

I have been using ultra fine merino that I source from Casalana that I prepare and dye with Gaywool in a way that I get a variegated staple.

then use other wild silks and other fibres as surface decoration and the silk fabric I use as a stabilising backing so I can lay my wool very thinly. I aim at producing the finest results in handling, weight and soft feeling to touch.

After so many years of working with ultra-fine merino I have learnt that it must be used spreader very thin and opened, that means undoing the beautiful crimps. this is the only way the felting you achieve will not pill too easily. if it is wool it will pill! but should take a fair bit of wearing before it starts pilling.

I have had to keep many beautiful pieces that I felted years ago for my personal use because the superficial layers of the ultra-fine wool that were laid thickly were not reached by the 18.5 fibres of the base layer.

One learns slowly when no-one else has experimented with this wool before for felting.

it is all out of my experimentation over the years since I started to try to felt with Casalana ultra fine merino, I believe around 2014/15

once I have decided which type ill go whether it will be alb,c,d or else then I start collecting materials that I want to use for surface decoration depending on what design I am more inclined to develop.

many times I start with one thing and it turns into something totally different and this is most of the times.

my biggest pleasure with felting is the creation of fabrics or pieces of felt that can be used as a shawl, scarf etc or even jackets, tops, ponchos etc.

I have no inclination to create 3D in felt, weird because I love sculpture, but I think that what I love is the Carving part of sculpture which I cannot do with felt.please do not try to show mw otherwise because it is not something that interests me.

I admire my dear friends from the Bunbury group that create amazing sculptures !.

I love the flat work where I can play with colours, shade, lights, textures ,thin and thick.

areas of intense shimmer and shadowy areas that imply depth. I love using two or more shades or tints to create volumes in the flat piece insinuating highlights and shadows.

then it comes closing a colour palette.....

I usually start with a range of colours in my mind that then I develop into an arrangement as simple as the one in the photo I will try to upload which was a way of playing with very few colours in a variety of intensities and shades and tints in small clumps without aiming at creating a theme or a spatial arrangement suggestive of any known natural item.

Just playing with these colours that to my impression look so beautiful together regardless of design. Really a free laying of colours according to what I feel looks good to my eyes.

this style design I no longer use too often.

Something I would like to understand is why I avoid portraying flowers in my felting.

As much as I love flowers that I create with my cold porcelain I avoid felt flowers like the plague!

I find creating flowers restricts my creativity. I just want to play with light and shade, colours etc textures, with the maximum freedom.

My cold porcelain work has to be extremely precise and represent reality with the most pedantic similarity to the real thing. I find that my work in cold porcelain reflects my dexterity, my sense of observation of reality and being able to obtain the maximum realism. As you see there is no freedom whatsoever! It is what it is and will be as it is!

I stopped painting for a few reasons like price of framing but most of all I feel I am coping whether it is a portrait, a scene, a photograph etc I don't get pleasure from coping.

A few years ago I went to a plain air painting session at the Drakesbrook Weir where I attempted a plain air painting, something I had never done before. I managed a painting which looked very much like someones first painting! I was not ashamed! I also have no attraction to do landscapes or plain air. Don't know why.

However I felted a scene from the outback where I depicted the Bungle Bungles, some Bob trees , the red earth and many rocks and spinnifex! . I spent millions of hours stitching that wall hanging to give rocks light and shade spinnifex shine etc etc loved it!! I won first prize at The Perth Royal Show in the felting category , then went to the Sea to Art show in Waroona where it was sold. in that work I had freedom to work my features as I liked playing with purple shadows ,orange highlights etc total freedom.

You may say you can do the same with paint... to what I will reply yes you can!

but does not interest me. Now,If I could see the landscape as Leon Holmes see it perhaps I would be painting! probably would...... love his work. would love to be in his head and see what he sees!!!!and then reproduce it with his amazing talent.

Well this is long!

forgive my grammar!, punctuation etc, my fingers are slower than my brain, if if try to take note of those grammatical hiccups I would lose my train of thought.

Hate commas! with a passion!

Cheers,and capitals as well!


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