Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Needle-Felted Chair, the Sequel

Kiwi painting is going very slowly, so I thought I'd take this time to tell you about the second art chair. Last July the Friends of the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries held a charity event to raise money to go toward building the Knowledge Center (AKA the New Library). The event was called Chair-i-ty. A bunch of the campus' vintage lecture hall chairs were given to local artists to decorate and be auctioned. Since the event coordinator knew about my first art chair, she asked me to participate.

After the trouble we had offloading the first chair, I had sworn I would never do another one. I gave in based on the fact that this one was guaranteed to go away at auction.

I came up with a design inspired by Van Gogh's painting 'Starry Night'. This chair was a little trickier, since I needed to attach the felt to the wood chair somehow. After some experimentation, I solved this problem by making thick batts on my drum carder and attaching them to the chair with spray adhesive. Then I could needle felt into the batts. I went through a bunch of felting needles until I perfected a method of felting at an extreme angle without jabbing them into the wood. It is hard to tell from the picture, but I used many different shades of blue wool and alpaca, plus white alpaca for the swirls and kool-aid dyed yellow wool for the stars. Since the stucture of the chair was left intact, complete with tab arm, I named the chair "Night School".

Like the first chair, everyone who saw the chair had to touch it. The night of the auction I brought felting needles to the event to make last minute repairs from all this abuse. About 50 chairs were auctioned and mine was the only completely fuzzy one. At the end of the evening, the same folks bought this chair that had bought the first one. They now have a collection. I hope they never get moths!


Birdsong said...

Amy, that is the most amazing chair I have ever seen! The design and colors are incredible.

Purple Fuzzy Mittens said...