Green Wings

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If you’re familiar with my work, you may know that I make angel wings from silk flower petals and sell them in my Etsy shop.

Blue and purple angel wings

I’m pretty proud of these wings, but they have one limitation: they can only be so big, since I can only get silk mums up to a certain size. So when I needed to make an archangel costume for my 72cm boy, I had to figure out something different for the wings.

After a lot of consideration, I went to the thrift store and bought an old silk blouse for a dollar. I pinned the fabric down on a layer of wax paper on a pizza box (it was flat and stable and available) and treated the silk with fabric stiffener.

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Sorry the picture’s upside down; I barely remembered to take any pictures at all.

This had the unfortunate result of leaving spots on the back side of the fabric. I’m not sure if the spots are transferred wax from the wax paper or pooled fabric stiffener. Maybe I’ll use parchment paper next time.

Then I measured out about a million rectangles and marked them with my sewline pencil, which I love for marking fabric, and cut them out.

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After they were cut out, I folded them in half and creased them and cut them to shape. If I decide to do this some more, I’ll experiment with shaping the feathers as the stiffener dries. Flower petals are curled, both front to back and side to side, but these will have to do.

I made a felt-over-wire armature just like I do for my smaller wings, only I supersized it. I call this the “chicken wing” stage of the project.

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Then I glued the feathers on, one at a time, like usual, and applied ribbons to one side for a harness. I touched it over with gold paint to hide the spots. The stiffened silk took the paint really well. It would be a good surface for painting, if one were into that sort of thing, which this one isn’t.

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I think they came out pretty well. The treated silk is pretty much exactly like the faux flowers, though maybe a little finer and more transparent. The only problem was, as huge as these wings looked while I was working on them, they were just barely big enough not to look silly on my boy. Seventy-two centimeters is HUGE! These wings are big enough for a standard 60cm doll, I think, but I will have to try making some even bigger wings later, with a different technique. These feathers aren’t detailed enough to be much bigger than this.

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Andrea Graham’s needle felt

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Andrea Graham does things with needle felting I had no idea you could do. She appears to have started out as a dollmaker and moved on to more “fine art” type work. Her doll figures represent a quirky sense of humor, more fun than beautiful. My favorite piece, which I won’t post here because it’s slightly not safe for work, is her nude blue lady with, um, natural red hair. Cracks me up.

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Her second gallery is full of felted landscapes. At first I was sure they were felted around real stones which were affixed to the canvas somehow, but now I think even the stones are felted. I’ve never seen anyone use felt in such a painterly fashion before. Check it out.

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Finally, her current work is sculpture in the microbiological vein that’s so popular these days. For me, I think I prefer her zany elderly ladies in bathing suits. But that just shows my poor taste, I guess.

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Have a great weekend!

Needle felting and fiber artist.

http://www.andrea-graham.com/index.html

Via Susan Lomuto’s Daily Art Muse.


Thanksgiving buffet

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the USA, so I thought I’d give you a selection of holiday-themed morsels from Etsy.

An excellent use of the soft texture and colors available to needle felters by WonderwulAnnette in her piece, Fall Forest Maiden.

Good seasonal cheer by SunshineCupcake in this piece, Kevin Jr. Pumpkin.

Fall Pumpkin Doll by Beansandrice is all about amazing colors and prints. You have to click on this picture or the link to see what I mean. This is a good example of how you can get away with a variety of patterns as long as you limit your color palette.

Little Gobbler and Giblet by Marcie Hart of Aworkofhart just makes me crack up, for some reason. I think this piece goes beyond “whimsical” and approaches the realm of “surreal.”

I hope all my readers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Seeya next week!