I’ve been planning this picture for a while. It’s not the first time I’ve combined techniques, but this time I wanted to add more dimension to the picture.
It may seem like an odd choice of subject, but my sister Lorraine has loved elephants all her life and this is a little thank you for the Trunk Show I had at her Quilt Club a few months back.
I started by dyeing some silk and wool, then making batts. My original intent was to use the silk for texturing on the trunks, but the area was too small and since I wasn’t going to use it over all the elephants I let the idea go.
I built up the trunks, faces and foreground legs with coarser wool underneath, sewed them closed with wool thread and used resists under the ears. The eyes are garnets. I don’t know why the pics look brown, the prefelt was shades of gray.
The base was made beforehand with Corriedale. Before placing the elephants on I used batts for the water, sky, background and tree tops. The light beige ground is hand dyed silk gauze. I also used bits of Oussant fiber (from France) sent to me by forum member Aphee. They are the brown and beige areas in the foreground.
Of course, I had to add a little silk to the water and sky.
The tree trunks are silk/merino mix.
Once the background was all laid out, I added the elephants and needlefelted them down. This is before felting and fulling.
I did get some texture in the elephants, but the picture was a little flatter than I wanted so I added some needlefelting and fiber to the tree trunks and around the legs, hand embroidery on the toes and around the eyes, stitching and free motion stitching in the foreground grasses. Also the Oussant flattened losing it’s springy texture so I needlefelted more of it to give better dimension.
The treetops in the background were purposely left vague to let the elephants have center stage. More needlefelting and adding fiber for dimension and texture.
Final hanging on the wall. I may have fulled it a little too much but I was worried about the thickness of the dimensional parts.
I sure hope my sister likes it.