Gaudi – part 2 – Definitely a challenge

Gaudi – part 2 – Definitely a challenge

So, I finished my last post having admitted to a rooky mistake (I had laid and worked the cord at 90 deg to the vertical! Opening out the wet structure gave me a distorted shape with 2 sides longer….oops I should have placed the cord on a curve. With my former career I have no excuses for (and nowhere to hide from) this mistake.) – the implication of that mistake went further….right to the base.

In perfect 20-20 hindsight, I should have stuck with my very original idea of a book resist, but in reality it was just so enormous….far beyond my comfort zone!

Putting that to one side, as the upper part of my structure (not the base) was the most important I decided to concentrate on getting that right.

After three days rest, while my brain was quietly whirring away in the background, ‘Gaudi’ was brought back into the action….

As I wasn’t happy with the previously stitched-in ‘cord’ that had created a fold on the inside, I cut it out – from the outside, as it would be covered later – it took a bit of tugging. The cut was then stitched closed and fibre stitches placed over to heal the long slit.

Still pondering the correct radius line – the arch was now measured and then finally, the appropriate curve drawn….this should all have been so simple for me!!!

After which I re-made and re-laid the cord.

Then it was onto the previously pre-felted ‘skirt’ – I cut triangles out to shape the ‘skirt’ onto the base, stitching the edges together (with thread & fibre) before felting the entire piece.

It was at this point inspiration hit (read that as drastic thoughts). As the mediaeval crowds might roar ‘Off with his head’….I simply shouted ‘off with it’s bottom’! In fact it proved the silver lining as it gave me the opportunity to get inside (without trying to do it through the resist removal hole) to felt the fibres and also to turn it inside out.

Ooooooh boy – my hands were just continually covered in stray fibres….the result of using-up un-named supplies!

Wet damp, but not dripping, it weighed 1.2 Kg and was a monster to work.

After drying it was off to the groomers with the hairy monster! There was so much surplus.

I don’t know how many razors (or lighters) I used

Several weeks have elapsed, and I’m feeling sufficiently energised to tackle it again….mentally & physically! I think we can all get to the point of being disillusioned and I had reached it. Although I didn’t go as far as a friend who, when she reaches this point, throws her work on the fire!

I have since wet felted a bottom using the various pieces of the leftover (from creating the ‘skirt’) pre-felted quilter’s wadding which I stitched together.

I love the surface texture of the piece and how the edge sits and will use it elsewhere. I’m wondering if it will take dye well?  

I’ve started applying decorative stitching, how much to do is an unknown. So too, I am undecided whether to apply its bottom (which I would attach with more decorative stitches) and create its ‘turret stopper’ or simply leave it all as it is….the little grey cells – they need to start working!

In the meantime, I have participated in 2 online felting courses – Paper & Felt with Fiona Duthie (I’ve yet to finish this in my own time) and the Milkweed seed with Judit Pócs which I successfully completed and have explored further adding a 3D resist into the mix. If you want to add to your repertoire of felting techniques, I can definitely recommend these courses.

Jan’s last post was about needle felting a tulip, a stunning framed piece for which a lovely tulip in her garden was the inspiration. I too adore tulips although our current beastly weather (frequent hail showers – some with 1cm stones!) has taken its toll. However, in amongst them there have been some surprises.….

….and some unusual seed pods have emerged too!

Just thought I’d share them with you.

30 thoughts on “Gaudi – part 2 – Definitely a challenge

  1. Wow how amazing! to all of that Antje. Your Gaudi piece may not of gone how you planned but I thought it was amazing and I loved seeing and hearing your process. Yikes on the hail stones but still your garden and felted pods are wonderful. I would love to do one of Judit Pocs workshops one day. Thanks for sharing such felting delights.

    1. Thank you Jane.
      All too often we see the finished results of artwork without knowing the process, anguish & decisions involved. If sharing my trials & tribulations helps others then I have achieved a bonus.

      I hope you achieve your goal with JP

  2. WOW so much work and what beautiful results. i don’t think Gaudi needs a bottom, he seems to stand up well enough without it. I’m fascinated about the possibility of that stopper though. I suppose if you do do one, he ought really to have a bottom, but you’re not going to be filling him with liquid are you (unless you stuff in a bottle before adding the bottom).
    I love your seed pods too. They look “extra good” in the garden,

    1. Interesting….you’ve made me think. I could do the stopper as a separate entity – if it would enhance Gaudi then & only then do I need to make the decision.

      Thank you for winding up the little grey cells.

      I’m happy you enjoyed the ‘garden pods’

  3. Really lovely Gaudi project. I do admire your tenacity. It’s a fabulous project. Sorely tempted to have a go myself, but think I need to wait until my OH is away so I can work without interruptions!

    1. Go for it as soon as you can Nancy.
      The challenges are set for everyone to participate in & we love seeing how they are interpreted, no matter what the medium.

      Tenacity….in my case – read that as ‘stubborn’. It’s like having tangled thread….I ‘WILL’ undo it!! But thank you.

  4. It’s a monster of a project – hats off to you for your perseverance! What a difference a shave makes – all the colours are revealed. Wonderful felting Antje and very interesting process.

    Poor tulips – we too are having heavy April showers all this month of May. However you have some very pretty seed pods in your garden.

    1. Lyn – we could make a new cover version ‘what a difference a shave makes’ by the Hairy Felters 🤪
      There might yet be a part 3 just as the 3rd challenge strikes!

      Our weather is definitely topsy-turvy so perhaps the pods being around in May is not so daft.

  5. 1.2kg? Phew – what a monster! But congratulations on getting this far – it’s a great example of problem solving when things don’t work out as planned (a bit like life).

    Love the pods – they look stunning in your garden, hailstones notwithstanding. 🙂

    1. Thanks Kim. The monster definitely gave me a good work out….I’m now a lean mean no bat-wing machine 🤪😂

      Planning, problem solving & life….a bit like the current U.K. weather – throwing unseasonal hailstorms into the mix.

      At least the pods add a bit of colour & fun.

  6. Antje, I just had to read your two pieces together – totally enthralled and laughing at your ‘turn of phrase’. I’m so glad you did not chuck it in the fire. It is a beautiful complex piece and from the sounds of it, a thorough workout! Even Gaudi would be proud of the result! Someone sent me a sample of the woollen wadding to experiment with. Does it felt on its own or do you need to cover it in wool. I am imagining it as being superwash as it would possibly cause grief to quilters when washing their works of art. Just the first thing that comes to mind in that respect.

    I love everything about this piece. I can understand your ‘resistance’ to using the book resist (ha! pun intended lol) – throwing it would have been a nightmare. I know one felting artist who uses a pulley device attached to the ceiling of her studio for this purpose ……. next project …. 🙂

    1. Helene, I certainly seem to have fallen into Gaudi’s way of working….on the hoof! Just hope I don’t start braying now.

      Visions of doing it as a book resist – I would have been fighting with it whilst it was attempting to slap a wet side onto me. I’d have needed waders on my arms 🤪

      The quilter’s wadding I’m sure you are right about it being super wash wool or else all the quilters would be screaming.

      I’ve finally cracked it – essentially I’m nuno felting….using a carder (pet brush or metal brush) slightly rough up the wool side of the wadding (I use the thinnest wadding). It doesn’t need too much. Then add a thin layer of wool fibres over this same wool side (leaving the ‘fabric’ side uncovered). All the usual rules apply re direction of the fibres v shrinkage.

      I’ve used both a fine wool (Merino) & a course wool (Shetland & Corriedale) to felt the wadding all work equally. If the wool fibres are coloured they do work their way through to the ‘fabric’ side (the photo above, inside Gaudi, shows some brown fibres sneeking through – the result of me using up some home carded brown Shetland fleece within the layers).

      My next experiments will be seeing if I can ‘stick’ any decorative fibres to the ‘fabric’ side. I’m sure it will be possible.

    2. Wonderful Antje! Experimentation really is never ending. Looking forward to part 3 💖

  7. Those seed pods are so fun! The Gaudi project is fascinating to watch coming together. Really impressive!

    1. Thank you Karen.
      I very much enjoyed making the pods & subsequently stretching myself by combining techniques. I certainly learnt through the process.

      Likewise Gaudi has been a huge learning curve too. Just when I think I’ve got it, I find something new to solve.

  8. I love the Gaudi piece! I think you should keep it as a hat, it looks so good on you! And I really like seeing your sketches. The seed pods are perfect in your garden. Sorry about the hailstorms but the tulips that survived are gorgeous.

    1. Thanks Ruth.
      At the moment Gaudi can only perch on my head in a rather comical fashion 🤪
      Seeing the sketches posted here by others has made me realise I’ve gotten out of the habit. So note to self….’I must do more’

      Photographing the pods – I was lucky to have the perfect flowering companions this time & just managed it between the deluges. We really are having extremely unprecedented weather at the moment.

  9. We all make mistakes, it’s how you recover that’s important and you’ve certainly pulled it back with this project! It’s looking great and your seed pods are a triumph!

    1. Karen your comment about recovering from mistakes is so true. Equally important is that we actually learn from them….these days I make notes – just in case I start to tread the same path 🤪

      I’m happy that you like the pods. They have provided some light relief & yet some valuable learning too.

  10. Thank You Marie.
    I think you are ahead of me in one regard though….whilst the pods are finished, Gaudi is not….yet!

  11. You did a great job of getting Gaudi back on track. I hope you make a hat for it. A separate one would weigh much less and be much easier to handle. The pods make great garden sculptures.

  12. Ann you are a guiding hand….Thank you.
    So glad you like my new fair-weather garden sculptures 🤪

  13. I’m loving how you’re evolving the work you’re doing with the vessel! There’s no such thing as a mistake, only a lesson learned (I read that in a fortune cookie :p)
    I’m also super envious of your drawing skills. You’d think I’d have had lessons, living with someone who draws obsessively, but hey, I guess I’m better at bemoaning my lack of skill than wanting to learn!

    As for the mysterious pods, I hope you wrote to the British Wildlife Association and told them of those finds, I bet they’re a new species 😀 (specially those er, *cough cough* tacos)

    1. Re mistakes….I should be quoting Edison…. “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” 🤪

      You can draw – you just don’t trust yourself!

      Strangely the pods, especially the ‘tacos’ have disappeared in this inclement cold weather!

    2. I *can* draw… stick figures! 😝

      Yep, no such thing as a mistake, only a lesson 😀

      “The Incident of the Retreating Tacos, a Poirot Mystery” 😂

  14. Wow, Antje, that Gaudi piece has turned out to be a real labour of love but it looks fantastic: so original. Having seen the pods in person I can confirm they’re really lovely too. Lots of great work.

  15. Lindsay I’m honoured to have your approval.
    Labour of ‘love’….mmm….‘I will not give up’….yet….🤪

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