Helen Welford

Texture and color have always intrigued me, from early days in the 1970s weaving and spinning, garment making, and more recently into the mysteries of felting.  I enjoy the sense of adventure when starting a new piece, of control coupled with surprise as I reach to express what I see with wools which I know will change as they come together.  Mixing and layering colors to make a new color with internal texture.  Adding complementary prefelts and fibers for detail. Not being afraid to work into the surface with embroidery or beads.  Loving being able to play with the surface once a piece is felted – if I want to.

 

 

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Coventry Remembered 

Inspired by Benjamin Britten's War Requiem 

35.5” w x 26.5” h

 

NFS

 

Wet felting with prefelts; appliquéd individually felted poppies, daisies, leaves; beading; embroidery; needle felting.

 

"It is not a Requiem to console the living; sometimes it does not even help the dead to sleep soundly. It can only disturb every living soul, for it denounces the barbarism more or less awake in mankind ..." (William Mann)  

 

The Requiem's first performance was in 1962, in the newly restored Coventry Cathedral. The shell of the bombed out cathedral has been preserved as a sanctuary and resting place. Photos of the cathedral following the bombing lent a strong image to work with as a background for a field of poppies springing forth to honor the dead. 

Sunrise      

27”w x 31.5”h

Wet felting, including prefelts, yarns, threads, embroidery and beading

 

NFS

 

A friend posted a photo of a morning sunset viewed from her campground next to a lake.  It was stunning, and moved me to ask if I might interpret it in felt.  She agreed, so my first week of lockdown with COVID19 was spent with a sense of freedom, playing with glorious color and allowing the process of felting to carry me into a new reality.

En Route    

28.5”w x 20”h

Wet felting with prefelts, yarns, and roving.

 

NFS

 

Riding the train home from Chicago in early March I was struck by a view of trees, water and openness, with a prevailing sense of gold.  Somehow this translated into deeper oranges and teals.  I mixed colors in prefelts to try to duplicated what was in my mind’s eye, then cut the prefelts to create the composition I wanted.  Details were added with various yarns, wool, and snippets of prefelts.

 

 

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