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Working with felt large scale

Cacti and succulents come in all sizes from tiny pebble size conophytums to giant saguaros. Working small has issues in detail but working large poses 2 main challenges; making a self supporting structure and handling the piece before it is felted. In the design phase I ensured that any branches, ribs or vanes were the same angle and proportion that they were in nature. And when constructing the Saguaro I used a differential layering technique to ensure the felt’s structural integrity.
The saguaro was 2 metres long laid out making it about 30cm longer than my studio table, and used over a kilogram of wool. As wool can absorb many times its own weight in water it was very heavy once wet. I used strategic layers of thin plastic and bubblewrap to keeping everything in place and then folded the piece in various places to manoeuvre it.

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