Autumn is my favourite colour

Autumn is my favourite colour

I know I have said this before, but it is worth saying again :). Every year I am left in awe of the beautiful colours that mother nature brings us each October / November.

While the British deciduous woodlands make my heart sing with their beautiful yellows, oranges and chestnut browns, this year I was lucky enough to visit Japan for the first time and was blown away by the intensity of the golden yellows and crimson maples against the dark green conifers.

The FFS fourth quarter challenge is all about creating a colourscape (which I interpret as creating pleasing combinations of colours). It seemed an obvious step to use some of the photos from this trip as my inspiration, but what to make? Felt can be notoriously difficult to work with when you want to place complementary colours next to each other, by its very nature the fibres (and therefore colours) want to mix and mingle and of course that will lead to muddy browns and greys where the two colours meet.

A few months ago, Fiona Duthie posted a video on how to make a double-walled vessel on her course FB page (it is only open to former students of her online classes). I have been having lots of fun with this technique as it provides an excellent solution to the colour mixing problem.

This is one of the first vases I made following her video, the double-walled technique lends itself very well to placing complementary colours adjacent to each other.

Feeling inspired by the crimson and orange acers (Japanese maples), I set about planning my vessel…

First to choose the colours…. for the inner wall:

And the outer wall:

Laying out the silk and wools:

Silk hankies that will be seen on the inner layer
Wool layout for the inner layers
Wool layout for the outer layers

While felting I couldn’t help but adore the colour transitions from the inside to the outside wall:

I could have cut the leaf shapes from the outer wall free-hand but given how fiddly they are I decided to play it safe and made myself a stencil.

I used water soluble crayons to mark where I wanted to cut the felt (these are really convenient way to mark up damp felt and they wash out easily).

Once the leaf patterns had been cut away I continued to shape the vessel and heal the cut edges, et voila! It’s not quite dry yet but I think you can still get a feel for the colour combinations even though the sheen on the silk can’t be seen yet. What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Autumn is my favourite colour

  1. Your vessel is a beautiful autumn colourscape! The Japanese inspiration certainly shines through and the leaves are so well placed to give a graceful pattern (your tip about the water soluble wax pastels is good).
    Nearly dribbled over the photos showing the colours of the silk and wool for the inner wall! Spot on for maple colours.
    If you need a name for your vessel, how about ‘Serenity’.
    How tall is it?

    1. Thank you, I did enjoy rummaging through my bag of silk hankies, there are so many juicy colours in there, maybe I should make another piece laying different coloured hankies over each other…..
      This vessel is about 40 cm (16″) tall.

  2. I’m so envious that you went to Japan! I lived in Macau for 8 years and can’t believe I never went to Japan…

    I really like the vessel, the colours really do justice to Autumn! I only wish I got to see more of the inside since those colours are so lovely 🙂

    1. Oh Leonor, I can’t believe you lived so close and never made the trip! That said, I have never been to Ireland (it is on my wish list) and I have lived in the UK for a lot longer than 8 years [shamefaced].

      I keep picking it up thinking I should cut some leaves into the back too, I am ware of getting carried away though, I think you need a dominant colour when working with complentaries, if they are too balanced they somehow don’t “sing” as much.

  3. Very nice vessel Teri. I love the color combo and that you had a way to keep the colors from mixing together where you didn’t want them to. I agree with Lyn that the Japanese inspiration is very evident. I will have to try the water soluble crayon/pastel idea for marking felt. Hadn’t thought of that one.

    1. Thank you Ruth, I picked up the water-soluble pencil / crayon trick at a workshop a couple of years ago. I works best on damp felt but I suspect you could also dip the the crayon in a pot of water and draw no dry felt too.

  4. Teri, your vessel is beautiful and does speak abundantly of Autumn. I have yet to try the double walled vessel, you have inspired me to give it a go.

    1. Thank you Sherry, please do, they are a bit fiddly to get the the inner wall sitting smoothly against the outer wall but once that is done, they are lovely to work with.

  5. I’m green eyed & drooling all at the same time. I just love Japanese gardens & would love to visit Japan. Your vessel is a great shape (complete with a foot!), and the colours truly bring the Japanese maples to mind. Do you have leaf cut outs on the other side to showcase yet more of those scrummy first layer colours?

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