Thursday 16 September 2010

My creative process

Here's a little bit about my creative process, to show how my inspirations develop into designs, which then evolve into final unique creations. Each piece follows a path that can have endless variations at each turn, leaving me with so many options and only two hands to follow up with! In most cases I have a strong image in my mind from the beginning of what I want to create, and so from this I will decide on the major decisions at the beginning. These can be things like form, fabric, wool quantity, drape, colour: to pre-dye fabric, or after the piece is created? These decisions all lead to different effects on the clothing, which I like to think out carefully before beginning to put fingers to fabric and wool. 

At the moment I am fully in love with the layers of bark on trees, especially the paperbark as mentioned in the previous blog. I translate this into layers of fibers and fabrics, and then layers of clothing to be worn over each other, allowing the clothing to adapt to seasonal changes and be worn throughout the year in various ways. I am not a huge fan of the cold months of winter, I particularly don't enjoy having to wear heavy clothing all day, it tires me out! But here I have found a solution, with these nuno felt pieces of clothing. They are light, yet keep you warm in winter and are extremely comfortable to wear. Being so light, they also adapt very well to other seasons and are also lovely to wear throughout the warmer months - the mysteries of silk and fine wool! 

What is 'nuno'? It's a term given to a technique specific to felting where we begin with a layer of fine fabric - for myself this is often silk or sometimes cotton or another natural fiber; then we add a layer or several of wool fibers which then get felted together with the fabric to form one nuno felt fabric. Magic textures develop along the way and the initial fabric becomes about half its original size due to the shrinkage of the wool during the process. The term 'nuno' was first coined by felting artist Polly Stirling and is now a recognised term by most felters.

There is plenty of room for creative variations along the way, and requires a certain amount of concentration if you have a fixed idea of what you want to achieve at the end. Creative accidents can certainly happen and lead to new discoveries to then be exploited in the future!  Ok, better get back to it!