Up the North Fork

Here is the fifth in my series of nuno felted landscapes. It is called Up the North Fork after a portion of the Flathead River here in Montana.

Here is the layout and after wet down and felted slightly.

And here it is after felting. You’ll notice that the foreground has wool on top in browns and orange. I decided to remove that because I wanted it to look more like a river and I think the silk does that better than the wool.

I added fabric trees and fused those in place before machine stitching. This is before I decided to remove the foreground wool. The plan was to shave it off. I tried that but finally decided just to pull it off. Then I shaved the edges a bit at the edge of the “river”.

And here is the finished piece after much stitching of trees and a huge variety of green threads changed in and out of the sewing machine. The photo on the left shows the organic edges and the one on the right is cropped as if matted and framed.

I did talk to a framer about these 6 pieces and he thought I should keep the organic edges. His suggestion is to attach each piece to a matching background fabric, stitch the piece in place and then wrap the background fabric around foam core board. Then I could use a simple black frame and the background fabric will look like the matting. And you can still appreciate the organic edges. So I think I will try that and see how I like it. Only one more piece to finish and I’ll start choosing the background fabrics and get the pieces ready for framing.

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14 Responses to Up the North Fork

  1. meterrilee says:

    Wow! I absolutely love this one. The stitch detail is just gorgeous. What prompted you to use fabric trees, applied after felting, rather than creating the tree shapes in felt as part of the initial layout? I’ve done some work with fabric that doesn’t felt, but I used it as I was creating the initial layout prior to wet felting everything. This is a new idea for me (what you did). Going to have to try this!

  2. ruthlane says:

    Thanks meterrilee! I actually didn’t do a lot of planning in advance for these nuno felted pieces. I knew I wanted to do landscapes and I wanted to use nuno as a surface design for part of the 2nd quarter challenge. I was at someone’s else’s house and working fast so I did the layouts quickly without firm plans on the outcomes. Then I looked at the resultant pieces and wanted to relate them to my area. So then I have been adding other “media” as I go to create the look I want. I like to combine a variety of techniques and yes, I could have taken more time in the beginning and layout but this has been a bit more spontaneous for me. And you can always add more layers and for me, those layers don’t have to have anything to do with felting. I take a very mixed media approach to my work.

  3. tracey2008 says:

    This is lovely Ruth. I am fast becoming interested in mixed media too. I want to forage more for foliage etc to dry to add to felted cards, hence the cotton grass cards I made recently. I have added scrim, organza, Indian lace etc to pictures recently, very satisfying!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Tracey! I am always finding new processes that I want to try adding to felt. So mixed media is a good name for scattered.

  4. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Beautiful Ruth! The stitching really adds so much to the piece. I like your framers idea if using a fabric background. I can’t wait to see the finished series.

  5. It turned out great Ruth. Much better with out the extra wool in front. the shadows really add to it. I like it framed but will wait to see how it looks on fabric mounted. I am always the one that likes square edges.

  6. It’s beautiful (the trees are gorgeous) and the framer’s idea is well worth a try! The organic edges are pretty, so looking forward to seeing how you get on with them all on fabric then wrapped around boards.

  7. Antje says:

    Beautiful use of stitch and ‘bits’ to create the scene – it just pulls you into it. Is this in Glacier NP?
    What size are your landscape pictures?
    Re framing (& my comment on one of your earlier pieces)….I still think, with your painting skills, you could ‘extend’ the scene – placing your felted piece off centre and leaving the raw edges!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Antje! It isn’t actually a specific scene. The North Fork does go through Glacier.

      This collection is a variety of sizes running from about 8″ x 12 ” up to the largest which is about 12″ x 36″. I do like your idea about combining them with paint but I need to do some experimenting with the technique first. I have to get these completed for our exhibition. But I have another piece that I am trying out this idea.

  8. zedster66 says:

    Wow, Ruth! The finished piece is so 3D compared to the original, you really have a gift 🙂

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