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Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 2

Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 2

Part 2 of Jan’s post: 

Part 2 create the base and start the octopus

Layout the background.
I had a bag of mystery white wool and some super wash merino, combining them together, I started my base layer. Then I lay in a line for the sky line and spent hours playing Runescape (AFK stuff like fishing and harassing trees) on the computer while hand blending the golden tan colour for the sky. I worked over the big 3 inch thick foam square I got at Walmart for the 12 x 12 pieces I did earlier in the summer. It again worked great with my wicked multi-needle metal tool to make a quick base from which to start.
     10 Needle Felting Tool – Aluminum

I had to put this project aside to work on the guild library, restructuring the Dewey Decimal Classification project, but was able to return to the Felting Challenge in September as my demo project at the carp fair.

There was a lot of interest in felting and lots of requests for Felting workshops this year. I directed them to the guild website and told them there would be more workshops for 2018 on felting so check the new schedule when it was up in November.

Carp Fair demo – the octopod is created…..sort of.
Carp Fair is an old fashion rural fair on a big scale. The Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners guild is in the Antique section. Usually we freeze since it’s the last weekend in September. We have spent many years demoing weaving, spinning and felting there, cursing the cold weather. (I can spin without feeling my fingers but not for too long or too well.) Well this year our pleas were answered. We had the hottest weekend of the summer, we were fine as long as we stayed in the shade of the tent and didn’t stand up! SO I got a lot of felting done.

Using my photo reference I chose the general shape and pose I wanted for the octopus to have. I had brought a package of pipe cleaners from the dollar store and had decided that 2 twisted together would make a good leg support armature and allow me to bend the tentacles as I wanted later.

Math is not my best skill it’s right down there with spelling actually but I can count to 8 twice. So I laid out 8 pairs of pipe cleaners beside me on the table, twisting them together as I put them down. (Are you having awful premonitions yet?) I pulled out my Rideau Arcott core wool and started shaping the slope back for the head, and adding the first leg. Then wrapped it with wool.

Friday is when all the kids come to the fair to do “research” for a questionnaire they have to fill out and to do the games and rides. They usually wander through the antique section in waves, it wasn’t too busy this year. We also had a canon being fired and a tractor parade in our area. So it was a bit busy in the early morning and later in the afternoon, it was quieter at the hottest part of the day.

Got to the last leg and started to build up the tentacles with more core wool to get the more triangular shape. By the end of the day I had what was obvious some kind of octopus like creature.

Saturday morning;
Once I had the general shape to my liking I started with the super wash to lay in the colour. I have discovered that super wash has exquisite colours and take forever to felt…. I will not be lured in by the evils of super wash again! It will felt with needle felting but it is a lot of extra work and it makes felting a lot slower! I will likely just save the super wash and blend it with corriedale or merino that still has all its scales.

One of the woman who was working at one of the other displays in the antique section came over and asked “does your octopus have 7 legs?” No I’m sure I put out 8 sets of pipe cleaners to start with. Oh no, one is missing, too late.

Sunday Carp fair;

The Octopus has its base colour layer, and one-sided blow-hole. I used a few fine skewers to rap the wool then Felted it quite firmly pulling out skewers as it shrunk. Thus making a hollow blow tube which I added to the skin fold just behind his/her eye.

You will have to wait for the next post to see how he/she turns out.

Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 1

Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 1

My friend Jan really got into the 3rd quarter challenge. She worked on it most of the summer and fall. If you have read other posts by Jan you know she is a great story teller. So, I had to break this into 3 posts. This post and the next 2 will take you on a journey with Jan from concept to finished challenge.

3rd quarter challenge part 1 the Plan

I was instantly intrigued by the third quarter challenge. I have always appreciated the aesthetic of Japanese prints and the Hokkaido wave had been particularly interesting to me. A bit strange when you consider I really don’t like getting wet. Ok, I am a bit hydrophobic. When I look at the Wave I don’t concentrate on the impending death of the fishermen in there precariously tipped boats, the fact that mount Fuji may be plunged into unpleasant wetness at any moment but that the repetitiveness of the design on the inside of the wave reminds me of a Japanese umbrella. Umbrellas are good. They keep you from wetness. A giant umbrella in the middle of the ocean sounds almost appealing, as if you might stay dry surrounded by all the wetness.

OK, I have a theme. Now who would need an umbrella in the middle of the ocean? Hmmm. An octopus!

The Great Wave off Kanagawa also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave, is a woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. It was published sometime between 1829 and 1833 in the late Edo period as the first print in Hokusai’s series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. It is Hokusai’s most famous work.

As you may have noticed I tend to do flat pictures with a bit more thickness than flat pictures usually have. So the concept of taking a print you like and using it to inspire something from it but not make a copy will not be a problem. OK wave as umbrella, and octopus holding umbrella. Other elements of the print to work into the finished pieces. The sky, the other littler waves and maybe the boats with fishermen, or maybe not the boats with fishermen. I have nothing against fishermen, I really do like to fish. But I’m not to fond of boats. They are just tempting fate. Why leave nice solid ground if you don’t have to? So let us leave the boats for a later consideration.

I had a plan and all within half an hour of reading the email. A quick sketch (I thought I had lost it but found it inside my new needle felting box. This is why the original idea and the preliminary execution differs quickly. I lost the sketch by putting it somewhere safe.)

Then a trip to the wonderful internet to “acquire” reference photos and do a bit of research.

I’ve got the wave (I found 3 graphics of the wave one with the fishermen very easily visible) so let’s get umbrellas.

Now for some octopuses/octopi.

Phase 1 Planning is complete.

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