If there’s one thing I love watching it’s how something that seems mysterious to me gets made! I figure you might enjoy seeing that too. So today I’ll post a series of images that show how an idea gets from the inside of my busy noggin’ out into the world as a work of art!

Below is the sketch I made of a felted wall piece I want to complete today or tomorrow.

Pencil sketch for felted tapestry

I begin with a wet felted base. To make this I cut and dyed a length of 100% cheesecloth, and let it dry.

Then I laid that out on a large piece of bubble wrap. On top I started layering fine hand dyed wool and alpaca fibers.

When I had what looked like a good design to me, I wet the whole thing down with carefully sprayed soapy water and rolled up and rolled for hundreds of times.

This started the felting process.
I rinsed it when it appeared to have felted fairly well together and let it dry flat.

Once completely dry I am coming back in and beginning the process of needle felting on the finished design. I will build up layers of color and fibers and push my specialized needles through the whole thing onto a soft foam backing time after time after time until the fibers begin to ‘stick’ to one another.

That’s about where I am now with the pix.

Then I assemble my finishing ‘ingredients…

The super soft merino fibers await

Hand Dyed (eco-friendly dyes) fiber curls

I begin to build up my design layers using needles with tiny tiny barbs on them. These help ‘weave’ the fibers together – thus the felting continues!

The needle felting needles I use to begin the details of the design

The needle felting of the design begins!

My studio help holds space for the creative process to unfold…

The tree is begun. My studio pal snoozes as usual.

Layers upon layers of colorful goodness are needle felted up!

Adding another layer of detail onto a background tree

Part 2 here!