Experimenting with Felt

After researching into Jon Burgerman and Felt Mistress’ soft sculptures, I purchased a number of felt sheets so as to experiment with the material. The idea was to create a smaller mock-up of a creature created from photocopying my Indian ink drawings. I collected felt sheets which were vibrant in colour and would create a complimentary contrast when placed within one shape.

The main purpose of this experiment was to consider colour pallets, final shapes and how to work with the unfamiliar fabric. I started the process with cutting a basic shape out of two layers of felt, with a seam allowance added. These shapes were then flipped to the opposite (finished) side as when the fabric is sewn together, the pieces will be turned the right side round. This finished side will then have no pencil markings on, but will also have appliqued shapes to create the features of the originally designed creature. Following the ink version, I cut shapes from coloured felt and layered sections so as to replicate the personality of the creature. These were then sewn onto one piece of the main fabric with a similar colour thread to be invisible. The most challenging part of the appliqueing process was matching the stripes on the point of the face so as they would run in a circular format when stuffed.

After the details were sewn, I placed both pieces together (with the insides facing out) and used the original pencil marks as a sewing guide. This line was important as it will form the outline of the final shape and therefore smooth curves without any sudden changes were required. I left an open space for the fabric to be turn the correct way around and for stuffing to be placed inside. For the mock up I created two sections of the creature, both the face and foot, so as I could practice joining the two parts together.

I was pleased with the outcome of this experiment as the material was easy to manage and the finish was professional. After discussing with my tutor it is now necessary to further contextualise my concepts and the purpose of my soft sculptures. I am looking to create more creatures of the same size as the mock-up, perhaps to hang when exhibited, and also consider creating a larger sculpture. It is clear that this project is a visual exploration, focusing on memories and exaggeration of the original observations. These are elements which need to be emphasised through the next sculptures so as to improve my visual communication.



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