Nuno Felted Backgrounds

Nuno Felted Backgrounds

I have been working on more nuno felt pieces to use as backgrounds for nuno felted landscapes. I usually create these and then decide how to move forward with stitching and embellishment.

Usually, I use white prefelt with dyed silk but I decided to use black prefelt with this one. I usually rotate and look at all possible ways to use the backgrounds. With the piece in this direction, I see pine trees. What do you see?

Here’s another background using black prefelt. I’m thinking about adding birch trees to this one but I haven’t made up my mind about any of these yet.

A lot of my landscapes end up being in the portrait orientation but this one is definitely in landscape orientation. It reminds me of the woods with pine trees and yellow flowers. The upper right hand corner looks like deciduous branches with leaves coming in from the side.

Green fields with flowers? Perhaps pine trees in the distance? What do you see?

Another floral landscape with bluebells and beargrass flowers? Perhaps the orange is bushes or trees with leaves turning colors in autumn? Or maybe it’s grasslands with flowers?

One way that I sometimes use to decide on a design is to put the background photo into Photoshop Elements and layer another photo on top of the background. This is the first background in this post with a photo of service berries and leaves layered over top.

And here’s the green background with a photo of a grass field with some white flowers in the foreground layered over top. I really like the “misty” feel of this one. But how to achieve this effect on the actual piece? Perhaps some layering of silk organza or sheer fabric?

So instead of my usual find a landscape in the background and enhance, this time I think I will try to use the layered photos as inspiration and work from that angle. It’s always good to try something new. I will show you my efforts in upcoming posts.

16 thoughts on “Nuno Felted Backgrounds

  1. Interestingly all your thoughts about the pieces are what I could see too.

    I adore the green piece with the overlay (wish I had the brains to get to grips with Photoshop but after a couple of tries I realise it’s just not in me).

    If the photo of the grass field that you overlaid is your own, have you thought about exploring the viability of selling good quality prints of the green one?

    1. Thanks Lyn, yes, I like the green overlaid piece too. I took a short class in Photoshop and learned the basics and can do a bit. But I usually forget everything and have to try several times before I figure it out. I had not thought of selling prints of the green one. That’s a good idea!

  2. That “what do you see?” thing reminds me of my Rorschach Test days back in Uni 🙂 In films they always ask what you see, but in reality you’re only allowed to ask “What could this be?” so as to not veer anyone into a reply. Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there!

    That idea of layering an image over the prefelt is genius, Ruth! I can definitely see how the finished work can look like and it’s great for future planning.

    1. Thanks Leonor, I think the “What could this be?” question is actually the better one to ask. I haven’t done much with the idea of layering images for inspiration before so this is going to be fun 🙂

  3. Ruth, Wow, wow and more wow! Do you make your own prefect? I’d like to try some myself but don’t think I’ll recognize when it’s at the prefelt stage and should stop.

    1. Thanks Barbara. No, I don’t make my own prefelt. I just use commercial prefelt that I purchased. Prefelt though is simple to make. I stop the felting process fairly early when I make prefelt. I get the wool wet, do a bit of rubbing on the front and back surface and then I’m done. It’s barely holding together but that’s OK. I would just give it a try. If you go too far, you can always rough up the surface so it will catch into whatever you’re creating. As long as you haven’t fulled it and it’s started shrinking, you should be good.

  4. Looks like you’re going to be busy Ruth, there are some lovely prefelts in that collection. The idea of layering images to try out ideas is genius! It will be interesting to watch these develop.

    1. Thanks Karen, it will be interesting to see what comes of all the backgrounds. I will be trying some other layering photos to get some new ideas to move forward.

  5. Very interesting to see you use photoshop for the design and make all kind of colorfull prefelts

    1. Thanks Herma! The backgrounds are completely felted, I use prefelt when I felt the dyed fabric to the wool ending with nuno felt.

  6. All very interesting possibilities. I wonder if you could print images onto the dyed silk and then felt it. I like both the photo shopped images. the berries remind me of an old photo, maybe a tintype? Could you maybe go old school and project the images on to the nuno felt and then trace parts of them onto the surface.

    1. Thanks Ann! I think that you could print images on silk and then nuno felt. I actually might have one that I printed a long time ago, I will have to try it. Not sure on the mm of the silk. The layered photos often give a feeling of old photos to me too. I’m sure that I could go old school if I had a projector but I don’t. So I’ll have to pass on that idea.

  7. Your prefelts are evocative of landscapes in their own right but adding the photo images adds an extra dimension. As Lynn has suggested you could sell the overlaid images separately.

    Is there any way you could print your initial photos (ie service berries) onto a see through organza that you could then overlay (without Felting) onto your prefelt and then stitch certain elements as high lights?

    Our service berries (Amelanchior Canadensis) never reach our mouths as the blackbirds love them. Watching them is hilarious as they try to reach the berries on the slender delicate branches which won’t bear their weight….they end up upside down flapping their wings frantically, beaks extended trying desperately to get that one berry, before failing and determinedly trying again….only to repeat the exercise!

    1. Thanks Antje, I guess I could just frame them and sell them as abstract landscapes. That would certainly be easier 🙂

      Yes, I could print the photos on to organza and apply to the the nuno felt. I might try one that way if I can get the right size printed. Most of these backgrounds are bigger than what I could print on my home printer.

      I’m not sure if the service berries I have are the same as what you have. I haven’t noticed the birds trying to eat them much. I will have to keep an eye out though to see if they do. Your birds sound comical. It sounds like my birds trying to eat the choke cherries. I looked it up and it does look like the same tree we have.

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