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Although I have done a little felting before making a bowl was something new. Fellow Textile Echoes artist Delia was creating several felted bowls and then Annette with Delia’s guidance decided to make one too. I thought it might be an idea if we all made one in a collaboration project. So, with Delia’s help we all made our own bowls putting our own mark on each one. I used the sheep’s wool we had access to that I had washed and carded along with some we had bought.  I couldn’t resist putting some holes in it and then stitched on some stiffened embroidery using horse hair, wool and thread to finish it off.

Next, I decided to try some circular tapestry as I wanted to make rounded pieces to join together inspired by some of the unusual floor formations made of the tops of the basalt columns at Kálfshamarsvík. I set to work on making a circular frame. Annette advised me how to soak some cane I found in the studio and then showed me how to make a good join so it wouldn’t overlap. I then made a warp and started to thread yarn around it using various stitches. After completing a few I decided I preferred the reverse side. I made several but will stitch them together when there are a few more.

As I knew there was a small dye room here at the Textile Centre, I thought I would take the opportunity to do some natural dyeing.  Having only done chemical dyeing in the past, this would be another new experience. With Delia’s knowledge of suitable plants to dye she explored around the centre and came back with some lupin leaves. We boiled them up and I placed some wool and some cotton fabric in the pot. After a while I took them out and they had become a beautiful lime yellow. I will use them in my Continuous landscape piece. Knowing I dyed it myself (with a lot of help from Delia) has made me want to explore this more – a project for when I return home.

Tara Kennedy