Moving on

BartI’ve been quiet on the diary front but I have still been busy on Bart and trying to have a family life as well over the bank holiday. Laying out the design took quite a long time because as you can see it is a large project. Bart takes up most of these two tables. During the laying out I decided that each flower should have yellow on it to help tie it together across the whole of Bart. This was all very well and good but I didn’t have sufficient yellow pre-felt and had to make two more lots before I could continue felting, and some green and some lilac. Good job I’d planned well – not. Bart matured during the design process and now has a hairy chest!

As I laid it out I had my first issue when I realised I’d left the tree out which I had intended to embed between the layers. Bart is such a strong shape that actually I began to think that it was probably for the best that it was omitted, and that the more I pared the design back the better it would be. A plainer stronger design would be more fitting with such a bold form.

Since then I’ve been spending two to three hours a day rubbing all over to set the design in place. When using pre-felts it builds up the layers of fibres and that means lots more rubbing if you don’t want the flowers to start lifting off when you begin rolling. I’d done a good job with the rubbing and I know this beacuse as soon as I did my first one hundred rolls the template began to buckle inside the fibres and it was time to cut it off. Scary.

templateI cut the template in two and removed the plastic. Imagine my distress when I discovered thin patches with the potential to become holes during the felting process. If it had been a smaller project I would probably have risked it but I couldn’t face it with Bart, I’d rather be safe than sorry. This has meant me turning the felt inside out and adding extra fibres in the areas giving concern. The two halves of Bart are now drying so that I can tack them together on him tomorrow. Being dried first will allow me to control the weight of the fibres whilst I do the tacking after which I will then rub to felt the two halves securely together. Troubles always begin when the felt comes off the resist, it looks like Bart is no different to any other project. Did I mention I’m supposed to have him ready to hand over by next Monday?

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