The Felting and Fiber Studio (possibly my favourite place to chat about fibre for felting) has a fun way to challenge its members to try new things – a yearly theme, under which there are quarterly challenges.
I decided to have a go at the Second Quarter Challenge, or how we can source colours for our art projects through a photograph.
Photographs are readily available mediums nowadays, what with all the technology around us – remember how you used to have to buy a roll of film, take the photos and go to the shop to have them developed, waiting a few hours (or days) to find out if they were any good? (If your answer is “no,” I will have to find you and poke you.)
Nowadays all we have to do is pick up that smartphone, point it at something remotely interesting, fiddle with the filters and presto, a cute picture of your cat smelling your socks or a great blackmail image of your other half drooling on the pillow.
But, I digress. Back on topic – online palette generators! Just choose an image you like, run it through the site (I used Color Palette FX) and they will show you all the colours that comprise it. If you are using an image of something real, you can almost make sure the colours will go well with each other in different ways and thus have a nice palette to work with.
This is the image I used, my beautiful cat Squish looking like the charming innocent he is not.
In our daily lives we get so used to just looking at things with narrow focus – my cat is black, his eyes are yellow, plants are green, light is white. But if I take the time to actually notice things properly, I’ll see that there is depth to his black, with purples and blues showing, and his eyes have a beautiful green popping out. The plants are at least three tones of green and the reds and oranges just catch your eye. And look, the light is white, ecru, and yellow.
This is the result of the website’s narrowing of colours, still probably more than I’d notice with a naked eye.
The next step would be to choose the colours and the medium to work them. I went with a limited palette of the closest colours I had in my fibre stash. Below, starting on the bottom left: sari silk waste, natural white mohair, three batches of merino (purple, mint green and forest green), short silk fibres and dyed bamboo.
Then it was drum carder fun. I had to decide how to layer the fibres: most of the merino was placed first and then I added the other fibres, placing some in between the wool layers as well.
More fibre added. I just kept adding fibre until I ran out of merino (or the drum was full, whichever came first. It was the former.)
The bottom of the batt…
…and here the top of the batt is in all its glory. I really like how it turned out.
The finished item. That top left pile is fibre I took out of the drum carder when I was done.
My next step is to spin this, but as always, I still fear my spinning knowledge won’t do it justice, so I suspect it might stay in my stash for a while. Here’s hoping for some (near) future courage…
Now, how about you challenge yourself, find a photo and make something out of the colours?…