Structure and testing.

We had to make rigid structures to hold the panels so we could move them around the house. We used four sheets of foam core board taped together for each of the paintings. This project takes three large horizontal surfaces so being able to move them to accommodate our lives is important. This is one of those times where I wish I had a studio outside my house because this project won’t fit into my studio.

I don’t want bad surprises, only the good ones. I’m using prefelt on this project to form a dark, stable background for the paintings. Prefelt is two layers of roving needle felted to a beginning felt stage. I chose dark purple as it will tone down some of the lighter, brighter colors I am using. I tested the color fastness of the prefelt. I had a bad experience at a workshop once where I assumed my wool was color fast and the red wool bled all over my project. Luckily the other colors were strong so the red didn’t completely overpower everything.

I then tested the percentage of shrinkage. I made a test strip of four layers of wool including the prefelt layer. I didn’t roll it to a hard felt stage but it was close. The wool shrank 25%. I was planning on around 40% shrinkage. The final paintings will also have 6-8 layers of fiber so I am thinking the shrinkage may be more. I have adjusted the outer edges of the paintings just in case I have 25% shrinkage. 

On this strip, I also tested what a light color would do on the blue and purple backgrounds. Looks good to me.

Test strip.

Test strip.