Perhaps this is a familiar feeling: you've worked with an idea, but once it becomes a physical object it is different from what you thought it would be. For this project I began with an idea, a story. I knew I wanted to make a felt book to go with the story, and I knew absolutely that I would never, could never, would not even want to needlefelt the entire four pages of text.
My options were
My options were
- to make a completely visual book
- the above plus make a second book with the text
- pull a few words from the story and needlefelt those
- create a brief poem that matched the tone
- inkjet print the words onto treated cloth and sew those on
I pulled a few words from the story and was satisfied with the feeling as they fell into the form of a very small poem. I coated a piece of muslin with the digital ground as I had done for another project. But after I printed and cut out the words I didn't like the magnetic poetry look. I always want to integrate the book pieces and the little rectangles seemed to be sticking out their tongues at me.
Grumble. Grumble. I rummaged through my felt scraps, hoping for guidance there. Maybe I could make a pocket or something. Yes! A good-sized piece of orange that matched my cover. I cut it into the clementine section shape and needlefelted the edges to the inside back cover. I could have needlefelted the folded page into the cover as well, if I had wanted to, but I decided to machine sew it like I usually do.
So, now I would make a little book to go into the pocket. Out of…ink-stained and black-gessoed muslin. I used white acrylic ink with a pointed nib to write on the muslin after it was dry. It's a bit scratchy, but it matched the look of the needlefelted title on the cover. I sewed the mini book with linen thread into a single signature.
It is possible I will build a box to house the felt book, the mini book, and a second (yet unmade) book with the complete story. Or not.
|Two wet-felted pieces, machine sewn|
|Verso of front cover with tufts showing through|
Cut away layers that show mesh
Needlefelted "clementine peel"
|Needlefelted lacy pattern|
Cut away layers
Verso of needlefelted clementine peel
|Needlefelted piece of felt, only at edges for pocket|
Mini book made of painted muslin
|Needlefelted piece of felt|
Cut away layers (on left)
Acrylic ink lettered text
Single signature binding on mini book