Recently we visited Montacute House and the children were fascinated by the Koi Carp in the pond. To be honest, so was I. Where they were probably enjoying seeing the fish swim around, I was very taken by the markings. We all have our way to appreciate nature. They saw fish. I saw a needlefelting project. It’s just the way my mind works.
I wanted to try a technique that I have only done by accident in the past. I started by making the body of the fish out of brown Jacobs fleece. I love this as a base as it felts up easily into a firm shape, that is still easy to manipulate.
Next, I needlefelted bright orange merino over the top. Now comes the new method. In some areas, I felted more. This causes the orange to thin and disappear into the brown, giving a brown, mottled look. You can see this most clearly on the back of the fish’s head. As a contrast, I added merino brown to the sides. Where the Jacobs brown has come through, it gives a more natural look, while the brown merino is harsh.
This is my prototype, and I have learnt so much. Next time, I’ll allow the Jacobs brown to do all the contrast markings. I’ll also make the fins and tail thinner and more feathery. For a first attempt, I quite like my fish.
I seem to be going for a sea theme this week, so far. I’ll break the pattern for a St George’s day (23rd April) craft activity this weekend . Off to bake some biscuits, to go with it.
After our visit to Bishop’s Palace, last week, we were really keen to try our hand at some willow craft. Being realistic, we decided to start small, rather than attempting a willow dog or elephant.
Or a willow peacock, for that matter. (not ours)
Instead we chose an unloved area of the garden, for a bit of a make over.
This is just outside the back door. Ignored, as everyone goes straight ahead, up the steps. The bumblee bees and toads make homes between the stones, as it’s quiet.
Our willow tree sent up masses of whips this year, after last years pollarding. Plenty of natural material from our own back garden. We thought we would weave a willow fence.
The children worked as a team. Doing most of the work. Moving stone and weeds. Cutting and preparing the willow for weaving.
Once the bumble bees have gone, we’ll do the rest of the area. Maybe. For the moment, this is fine.
This is an experiment. It may root, it may not. Either way it doesn’t matter and we will have learnt something. At the moment, it’s helping to protect freshly planted herbs and make this corner a little more cared for. Maybe it will grow into a shelter. Time will tell.
As we were enjoying our backgarden crafting so much, we couldn’t resist adding our own willow art/sculptures.
Twisting and turning. Weaving and making. A dragonfly, a butterfly and a fish. Now hanging on the wall by the willow bed.