Prefelt is the perfect mate for fiber artist experimentations. I’ve always been interested in experimenting with different materials, combining various qualities of wool and exploring the range of possibilities. At the moment I’m intrigued by exploring reliefs in felt through playing with different thicknesses. By doing so, I put a special focus on the finesse of the material and the nuances of colours in order to achieve the optimal relief effect on the felt surface.
I actually produce my very own prefelt to get the ideal firmness and thickness. My workshop and my students, enable me to get in touch with a lot of different materials and varying approaches. We test, explore and develop the possibilities and the apparent impossibilities, just to find out that nothing is actually impossible.
I also got to know different qualities of industrial prefelt. The DHG Superlight Prefelt I’ve worked with is now becoming an inherent part of my material supply. It is characterized by a good firmness. In my view, it is neither too loosely felted nor too firm, which makes it ideal for my artwork as motives can be cut easily without going out of shape.
When I held the prefelt in my hands for the first time, I immediately felt inspired to make a series of samples. As I like clear and fine textures on the felt surface, I chose a combination with Extra Fine Merino Wool tops.
Prefelt elements can be included between the wool layers or on the top. Just playing with the number of layers offers you limitless possibilities in terms of creativity. The more layers are used the more significant the relief will turn out.
An important and interesting factor is the shrinkage. It is well known, that the thinner the felt is the more it shrinks. However, by using various thicknesses of prefelt on a thin surface the felt will shrink differently. The flat felt surface can be transformed into a vivid surprising artwork this way. It is really fun to play with different geometric or organic designs.
Another interesting approach to experimentation is the combination of different coloured layers. I achieved some really interesting effects on the edges by cutting inside the prefelt motives after felting and by including curled prefelt stripes in different colours.
I’m excited about the endless possibilities and I will look further into exploring the relief topics in a playful way. Each little sample opens a new door to a multitude of ways of expression.
Be inspired and never cease to play!
The material was kindly provided by our Italian partners factory DHG.
Text: Maria Friese