Creating a painting usually means applying color to a surface. Wool and silk fibers are both paint and canvas in my process of wet-felting. Loose fibers are laid out by hand in directional layers that build upon each other to form what will become the painting. Color and composition are integrated from the first wisp of wool I lay down on my table. I build the composition 25% larger than the desired finished size to allow for the felting process. Next, I wet the entire piece using hot water and olive oil soap. Using different types of agitation (usually rolling the whole composition up inside a bamboo window shade) causes the fibers to shrink into themselves and eventually form a dense felt. Never knowing exactly how the colors will blend nor how much the felt will shrink makes each piece wonderfully fun and entirely unique. Knowing when to stop the process is a challenge. Like with any painting, often the best gestures are the first ones.
I often add detail by stitching and/or needle-felting wool into the surface of the painting. Unless indicated otherwise, my work is mounted on high quality plywood and is ready to hang. A made-to-order hardwood frame with a simple profile is now an available additional option. It provides a beautiful finished edge that complements the natural edge of the felt.