These are some preliminary sketches for the raven costume I am constructing for Felting with Secondary Fibres.
Yesterday I began to build the jodhpurs which will form the base of the costume yesterday (March 26th). Below are some photos of the process of laying the wool down over the paper pattern, wetting it out, and then what it looks like soft-felted with the seams all addressed.
Here I am laying down the wool for the front side of the jodhpurs. It will have a flap opening to allow the performer to get into, and out of, the costume.
The wool is now wet underneath the bubble wrap and I am beginning to slowly felt the wool by rubbing it from the centre. The bubble wrap keeps my finders from disturbing the wool fibres too much which I have layered underneath.
Here the jodhpurs are soft felted on both sides, except for the seams. I now have to cut the wool open across the top, and bottom of the legs, to get my hands on the inside and delicately felt the seams into the piece so as not to have a line down the sides.
Here the jodhpurs are soft felted and I am ‘shocking’ the wool by running it under very hot water and then immediately following that with cold water. This opens the pours of the wool fibres (hot) and then closes/knots, or shrinks, them permanently to the fibres adjacent to them (cold)
This is the jodhpurs spun out in the washing machine and ready to be sculpted by further, strategic felting by hand on a model.
This is to show how the white wool which I laid down in the first two layers, comes through the black layer on top. I did this so that I can dye the jodhpurs a deep purple/blue later on and give the costume a blue/black sheen like the coat of a raven.
Here are some images for the creation of the raven headpiece: