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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Tessellations in Felt

In anticipation for my exciting Australia trip to teach at Ballarat at the end of March/beginning of April, I have been experimenting with some new work.  I became fascinated with tessellations because anyone who knows my work, knows I love to create felt, cut it up and put it all together again and, for months, I have been experimenting in how best to accomplish my tessellation ideas in felt.  

The first task was to understand how to make a proper tessellation and to practice with a wide variety of shapes without them being too busy (I even practiced by teaching our grandson, Win, who just turned 7, how to make the shapes with paper - we had fun!).   Next came the color and material challenge - the selected colors had to have enough contrast but I wanted soft and pleasing at the same time; I knew that I wanted to incorporate silk fabric as well.   After many experiments with materials and trying a variety of approaches - some not very successful or pleasing to me and learning tons along the way, I've finally completed a project that I'm pleased with; challenging myself is something that I enjoy doing from time to time.  It's a great way to learn new things and work out problems when you are on your own.  For example, shapes shift when they are felted (especially when they are fabric (this proved to be a  huge problem to solve and I didn't want to just use prefelt which would have been easier, but boring since I wanted lots of texture without it being too heavy or thick.
I learned even more while working on this project that will make it easy for my students to accomplish in a couple of days, what took me months to figure out.

I'll also be teaching my method at Artful Dimensions in Fredericksburg in October, 2016..