I've experimented a few times with wool 'painting and I absolutely love this process.
It's the combination of wet felting, needle felting and embroidery
that can make for very textured piece.
And a process it is!
Beginning with laying out the roving.
I've been wanting to use these tiny bits of wool called 'nepps' for a while now and Queen Anne's lace flowers seemed the perfect candidate for a go at them...
Nepps or noils are small tangled knots of fibers. They are more matted than raw fleece and come from the second cut of the shearing of sheep.
As I'm discovering they felt into the smoother roving quite nicely.
I've also added strands of dyed silk thread for varied texture.
My new best friend...
No I'm not doing strange medical procedures, which is what this may look like, instead
it's a new tool I found at the local fiber arts festival.
It's called a Ball Brause Sprinkler and makes light work of wetting down your work.
If you ever wet felted then you know how important it is to evenly wet your work before
the rolling process. With a spray bottle or just using your hand to toss bits of water
on the work is labour intensive and time consuming.
With this baby you fill a bowl with warm water, squeeze your ball (o.k no jokes here!)
to fill the rubber chamber and then gently sprinkle the water over your work...easy peasy.
I see them here on line if you want to order one. Good old German engineering at it's best!
So here it is laid out pre-wetted...wispy and lovely but will blow away in the slightest breeze!
I prefer to use the net method over my work before I wet it because I like the way the netting
holds the roving in place. This is important especially when trying to do imagery.
The netting can be anything of that kind of texture...this just happened to be an old curtain I had.
So after wetting and soaping and rolling and turning again and again here is the look,
still soapy and wet...
After a few rinses...
See how nicely these little nepps cling onto the other fibers?
I put the finest bit of roving over the silk threads to lock them into the roving...
After a day or more of drying the piece, I started in on the embroidery...
...many French knots were done...
...the bees were added by needle felting and using some organza ribbon bits for the wings...
I VERY CAREFULLY burnt the edges of the ribbon so the fibers would stay in tact.
Using tweezers, I still managed to burn a finger or two!
Some bits of silk merino roving made for nice wispy clouds...
And there you have it...
Bees in Queen Anne's Lace