Do you generally work in the same way every time you create a piece? Do you feel like you’re in a rut and need to change up your routine? Here’s a list of 10 ways that might get you jump started and moving creatively in a different direction. Put on your experimenting hat and try something new. These suggestions are geared towards felting but you can adapt these ideas to almost any type of art. I have used a variety of photos from our library and not all the photos are of my work.
- Switch up your color palette. Do you use the same color palette frequently? Why not try changing one of the colors that you normally use. Perhaps you always use bright, jewel toned colors, why not try a more muted color? For example, if your color scheme included a spring green with bright yellow and turquoise, what would happen if you changed the spring green to a dark olive green?
- Try a different breed of wool. If you always use the same type of wool, such as merino, why not try a different breed? See how that breed felts differently than the one that you normally use. Take a look at a few of Zed’s posts to get inspired 🙂
- Use a new technique. Have you seen a technique that you haven’t tried before? There are lots of free tutorials online so take a few minutes to browse online if you need instructions and then make a few samples using this new technique. Once you’ve got the method down, plan a piece around using that new technique.
- Switch the blend of fibers that you use. Do you usually add your embellishments on top of the wool after layout? Try blending the embellishments into the wool before layout. How does that affect the felting process? How much embellishment fiber can you add to the wool and have it still felt?
- Work inside out. When you are using a resist, do you usually add the embellishments to the outside and then felt? Try adding the embellishments to the resist first and then the wool, felt as usual and then when you open the felt to remove the resist, turn the piece inside out so your embellishments are now on the outside. Or perhaps you could make your piece reversible and have embellishments on both the inside and the outside?
- Cut up an old piece. Do you have any UFO’s (unfinished pieces) that are just lying around taking up space? Try cutting the piece up and putting it back together in a different configuration. Or use the cut up pieces to make greeting cards by stitching the felt down on to the paper card. Or if you have several UFO’s, cut them all up and put them all back together into one new piece.
- Hand mix your colors. Do you always use solid colored roving that you’ve purchased commercially? If so, why not try mixing several of those colors together by hand to achieve a variegated color instead of one solid color? You could use hand carders or you can do this in small amounts just using your fingers to mix the different colors of wool together. What color do you get if you mix complementary colors (colors on opposite sides of the color wheel) together?
- Try using only prefelts. Do you normally mainly use wool roving when making a felt project? If so, try making some prefelts (don’t full, just leave the felt soft or buy them commercially) and use only prefelts in your next project. How many different ways can you think of using prefelt?
- Add in a different media. Try going to the bookstore and finding a book on a type of craft that you haven’t tried before. Look through the book to get some ideas of how you could add that media to your felting. It might be as simple as finding a stained glass design that you want to replicate in felt or it might be more complex by actually adding that media to your felt in some way.
- Take your studio outside. This might not be too practical in the winter time but if you can, try doing part of your process outdoors. Be inspired by your surroundings. Just moving where you normally create can change your thinking and give you new ideas for further creations.
Most of all, play around, experiment and just have fun!