Monday, 2 August 2010

Shells on a felt beach

While I was at one of my favourite places on holiday, Studland Bay, I was having a walk through the waves just at the edge of the sand when a big gust of wind blew my new straw hat into the water. I rescued it but it was very soggy and unwearable, so I turned it over and used it to collect some of these shells.

Not particularly beautiful shells but some very shimmery pieces that really caught the light.

I was looking down at the waves and the shells half-buried in the sand, plus the odd bit of seaweed, and thought I'd try to represent it all in felt. Wise family members dissuade me from taking my new-ish camera near water, so I couldn't take a photo.
Can you incorporate real shells in layers of felt? Well, yes you can, if you really want to, but you have to be careful. I laid out two fine layers of fibres, then put some shells and pieces of shells in, then added another two fine layers of fibres so they were covered. I used some edges of silk squares for the swirly froth as the waves break on the sand.

When the piece was felted together well, I rolled it up using bubble-wrap and a foam pool-float - I usually use a bamboo blind but I thought that might be too hard for the shells!
When the felt had shrunk and fulled a bit I gently cut small holes in the top layer just over the shells to expose them a bit, and then carried on rolling.
All was fine until I thought I might throw the felt just a bit since it didn't seem to be hardening as much as I expected (how silly is that - to treat it really carefully to start with then chuck it against a table?)- this was when I broke two of the shells, I thought they might be a bit more protected by their cushion of felt! But they'd lodged in their little pockets of fibres so well that I was able to insert another couple quite securely. The shimmery pieces of shell did break up a bit but stayed lodged in the surface.

Always worth trying out ideas, I like the finished piece as the colours are lovely and soft and it really does remind me of looking down at the beach as I walked.

18 comments:

  1. That is absolutely amazing! It's an incredible and stunning piece of work. Congratulations on this achievement--and on your creativity!

    Lots of kitty kisses and smooches to Archie too. :-)

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  2. That really does remind me of visits to the sea and just proves that sometimes a bit of a risk can result in something to be proud of. Well done its beautiful.

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  3. Oh my goodness!! You are such an artist. Wow. How amazing - that really is a bit of a sea shore with shells embedded in the sand and the water just lapping on the edges. Wow. I'm so so impressed. I'm all agog. Wow.

    Well done you! Wow!

    Take care
    x

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  4. How lovely! I say you've got you're creative mojo back...in spades!

    Absolutely wonderful.

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  5. What an amazing piece of art.
    That's just so lovely. I love the froth of the water, its so realistic, the the shells have worked really well.
    If you put it in a gallery, I'm sure it will be snapped up in minutes.

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  6. This is gorgeous! It almost looks like a photograph of the sea and sand, especially with the shells! Well done!

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  7. That is really gorgeous, I especially love the bit of seaweed in the sand and the way it looks like the water in bubbling at the sea shore. gorgeous!

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  8. Wow - how clever is that!!! It really does look like waves on the sand.

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  9. The colors are perfect! What a fabulous idea to felt the shells into the wool. It really does look like the beach!! :)

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  10. How clever are you? That is beautiful!

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  11. It's lovely, it does look like the beach!
    love
    Lyn
    xxx

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  12. ABsolutely beautifull! I love it! Youve really captured the feeling of paddling along the shoreline
    x

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  13. What a really clever piece of art work.
    I can't believe how you can make felt look like that. It's really good.
    Archie looks really grown up now, but still gorgeous. Milo sends him some big purrs..x

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  14. Well girlie. It looks great
    xx

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  15. It is a lovely inspired piece :-D

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  16. Much better than a photo, it is brilliant!

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  17. Looks gorgeous. Thanks for bring up this idea of felting shell.

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