Wednesday, 9 January 2013


The theme of the annual competition at the Hodgson Loom Gallery this year is fire. I was struggling with my entries as the colours of fire are a lot brighter than those that I usually work with. I like to research widely before I begin a new textile piece and this led me to study Native American fire symbols and I was also attracted to images of the Lightning bird. I originally was going to work one large felted area with hand and machine stitching. Much of the wool used in the felting was from local Jacob's sheep, incorporated with other plant dyed wools. The wools were mainly dyed with Dyer's chamomile flowers from my garden which I put in a flask with alum mordanted wool. Due to the unusually warm weather we have been having. The chamomile has been flowering for many months, so I keep picking them and drying them on the windowsill. I started to machine stitch on the resulting felted area but did not like it. If in doubt I can be quite radical, so I cut the felt into small squares. On each square I hand embroidered a North American Indian sun symbol. A large piece of yellow dyed wool was then felted separately and on this I hand stitched a colourful lightning bird, The whole lot was then laced together over a piece of orange organza.

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