The theme for the February 2012 show is “Songs in One’s Head. Artists were asked to create work based on the titles and phrases from songs that they love.
Roz Houseknecht’s “Singing in the Rain”, a nuno felted shawl, was selected for recognition. The Jurors stated that the shawl danced with color. And what an appropriate description since the song was made famous by Gene Kelly’s famous dance with an umbrella on a rainy day.
Roz’s chosen technique, nuno or laminated felt, happens when wool fibers dive through the cloth which is then moistened with warm soapy water and gently rolled in bubble plastic. When the fibers begin to hold the patchwork pieces together, the puckering starts and the cloth and fibers felt together.
Roz provided some insight about her techniques through a picture story board. She selects a fabric and lays many fibers over the fabric. This fabric had umbrellas in the pattern so, she replicated those shapes with the fibers.
In the picture below, you can see the completed layout of side one of the shawl with a piece of plastic covering the wet fibers. The fibers are agitated so that they bond and blend well.
Here is a close up of the fibers after felting and shrinking which causes the puckering texture.
The completed shawl is reversible and the two sides are distinctly different. One side shows the umbrella pattern and the other shows a more abstract pattern. To truly appreciate the technique and finish of the shawl, go to the gallery and see it.