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The journey of "Exodus"

This work was underway for a little less than a month. I got to use my blended wool in the wet felting process for the first time. I was surprised how much was needed, and of course I didn't make enough in advance and had to blend it and lay it out at the same time, which prolonged the amount of time sitting on the floor - not my favorite position, especially when you consider that the whole process takes from 5-6 hours.

Here I have the dry wool laid out (left) and in the right photo the process is already fairly underway. The wool has fused into cloth but is not yet shrunken down.

Below is a view of the blended wool I have laid on top of the felted wool at the bottom of the piece, to evoke the varying colors of the dying sun on desert sand. I've begun to stitch the wool/viscose down with a variety of silk thread colors in a meandering line. Before stitching wool, I use a homemade, washable solution to make it into a solid mass, like fabric so that it's easier to work with.

In order below, we have the base color of the pyramids, to which I added highlights and shadows. Then I have a styrofoam board for making little figures from fibers. They also have a washable solution to harden them. After they're dried, I can securely stitch them on and wash out the solution in the end. I originally intended to needle felt the figures, but because they are so small, especially around the neck area, it was hard to get a defined enough shape, especially since the underlying wool is not felted and therefore fairly open and loose. Anyway, although not my favorite process, pre-shaping the figures was the best way to go.

Next, after doing all the math to scale the face from the sketch, I drew it onto paper and stitched through it. This outline became the guide for filling in with needle felted viscose and silk fibers. I don't have a lot of colors in these materials, so on it's own, it didn't quite fit the piece. Therefore, the next step was to add beads on top, which added an extra eye-catching feature and balanced out the colors so that the over all effect was more harmonious.

The process is nearly finished! After the head was completed, something was needed to connect the top and bottom of the work. In comes silk fiber! And presto - it's done!

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