Having sold one of my larger pieces in the gallery, I had a request for a new large nuno felted landscape similar to The First Leaf. So if you are reading along and think that you are having deja vu, it is because this piece will be very similar, just a larger size. The new piece will be 19″ x 33″ and will use the same nuno background used in The First Leaf which is only 14″ x 18.5″. The first step was to make silk paper for the birch tree trunks. I had a little bit left in my stash but it was not big enough or long enough.
Making silk paper is simple. You lay out silk fiber on to nylon netting, cover with another piece of nylon netting, wet down the silk and then paint on some type of acrylic medium. You are supposed to use fabric medium but I didn’t have any so I just used acrylic medium that I had. The photo above shows a portion of the layout of the white silk with black bits added on top. The nylon netting came in a roll so I could make a giant long piece of silk paper for my big birch tree.
I made two lengths of silk paper. Here you can see one side laid out sandwiched between the nylon netting. The left side still needs black added. I actually think that the left side is not silk but perhaps viscose or other man made silk alternative. It didn’t feel exactly like silk but it was white and worked just as well as the real silk. I use up what I have before I buy more supplies, so other options of fiber will work for making paper.
Next you wet down the silk fiber sandwiched between the netting with soapy water. The soap helps to break the surface tension and allows the silk to accept the water more easily. You can spray it down or sponge it on, whichever works best for you. Once the silk is completely wet and there are no thicker, white spots left (air), then brush on acrylic medium mixed half and half with water. Flip the net and silk sandwich over and add acrylic medium to the other side too. Make sure the silk is thoroughly saturated with medium. Then peel off the top layer of netting and leave the silk paper to dry. You can hang it up to dry but take note that the water/acrylic medium will drip off and get on the floor if you hang it inside. I left mine flat to dry and it took a full day to dry.
I cut out my nuno felt background to size and played around with cutting the silk paper trees to different sizes to achieve some depth in the piece. These are the approximate layout that I came up with. Next on to stitching!