My previous blog entries about the SNAG EIM collaboration I am working on with Sarah West shared two approaches to encasing her 2-D steel frames in felt and then applying free-motion embroidery to that felt. These structures, however, were simplified components of Sarah’s striking, faceted gem forms on which she sets and manipulates pieces of vinyl records. The other approach we discussed for our preliminary explorations of combining our mediums and techniques was to, not only, entirely encase a single form, but many of them linked together.
I determined the surface area of the form and calculated how much larger that area needed to be and how much wool to apply in order to achieve the % of shrinkage and quality of felt I desired.
Once felting had commenced, I removed the plastic and continued to agitate the felt until it shrunk down, snug against the steel armature. The felt compressed the chain of interlinked forms, eventually suppressing its movement and the sound of that movement. I, then, hand stitched the felt around the wire to delineate the armature.
The felt encased steel structures, along with some sketches of more formal ideas I had during the making process, have been sent to Sarah. I look forward to hearing her thoughts so we can take the next steps: becoming clearer on our concept, the structure of the steel forms, the parts that will be encased in felt or set with vinyl, the surface design for the stitching, how large our format will be and how or where it will be worn. So very exciting!