The Brilliant Felted Landscapes of Tracey McCracken Palmer

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Grazing the High Pasture

Take a moment to scroll through these gorgeous felted “paintings” by Tracey McCracken Palmer. They have such wonderful depth, color and interest — giving the viewer a feeling of a real place with a real story. You might find it hard to believe, but at the time of this article, Tracey has been felting less than 2 years.

We really enjoyed our time meeting with Tracey and getting to know her better. She is as sweet and humble as she is talented, and her distinct South Eastern accent is just delightful to listen to as she tells her story. Tracey says she has painted and drawn her entire life, and while she discovered felting after taking a needle felting class several years ago, she did not begin exploring the medium right away.

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Fly Me to The Moon

“I planned to invest in some wool and try it at home, but I was mainly painting in acrylic then and just never got around to it. Then in June of 2013, I saw Moy MacKay’s work on Facebook, and was completely blown away by her felted landscapes. She had just published her first book so I got it and learned her method of layering wool and wet felting landscapes.

Since then, while I’ve used her method of felting, I’ve also developed my own techniques to create my own style. She uses machine stitching and embroidery floss for much of her detail work and since I don’t sew, I needle felt all my details in with wool. Also her work is a bit more abstract, while I’m a detail freak and try to make it look as close to the real thing as possible. I wouldn’t want to copy her style anyway, but I am so thankful to have found her work, and the medium that I’ve been looking for my whole life – I just never knew what it was until now!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Tracey McCracken Palmer gives demo on felting landscapes at Leaves and Twigs gallery

TRACEY SHARES HER METHOD FOR “HOW TO FELT LANDSCAPES”

“My process begins by layering different colors of dyed wool over a double layer of un-dyed wool to create a scene. Next, I wet the piece with hot soapy water and work it, pressing with my hands, turning and rolling it repeatedly in a bamboo or bubblewrap mat for over two hours until the friction of the rolling process binds the fibers together, creating felt. I then rinse the soap out of the felt and mat, and roll it again several times before letting it air dry.

After it is completely dry, I use needle felting to add more details to the landscape, using special needles which have notches along the shaft. The notches on the needles grab the layer of wool fibers which I have added, and tangle them with the inner layers as the needle enters the felt. Since the notches face down toward the tip of the needle, they do not pull the fibers back out as the needle exits the wool.

Each felted landscape is totally unique and made entirely by hand, using pure wool from Merino and Corriedale sheep, with silk and other natural fibers sometimes added as well.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Borve Beach

“…my favorite thing from LF [Living Felt] is your merino cross batts, and by golly those batts are where it’s at!!!  Truly they are my most valued wools, because they make such great textures in leaves, and even rocks, and grasses, I can even card them a bit to make other color variations if I need to.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Sycamore

Painting on canvas is quite a different medium, but Tracey really enjoys everything about the felting process of creating felted landscapes. “I love smelling and feeling the textures of different types of wool, and even picking out wee bits of burrs from some of the batts. I also love seeing the changes that occur each time I wet felt a piece, and I learn something from each one about how to best layer the colors and even the different types of wools to achieve what I’m wanting. But I think I enjoy adding the details with needle felting best, because I love the way one tiny wee bit of wool, either added or taken away can make such a huge difference!  Living Felt’s cross batts are so wonderful with bits of different colors, and I use them for all my trees, whether summer or autumn leaves.”

“I’m just so thrilled to have finally found the medium that truly fuels my creativity!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Tanglewood Magic

For Tracey’s felted landscapes, she says inspiration is everywhere around her.
“The texture of the wool makes my landscapes almost 3-D, and I’m inspired by everything it seems! As I drive to work and back I see so many beautiful skies and farmland in the mountains here in western NC, and I keep my camera handy to capture it if I can, so I can add it to the list of scenes I want to felt. Skies, trees, water and misty mountains are my biggest inspirations.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Tracey McCracken Palmer and Grazing the High Pasture Felt Painting

Tracey was kind of enough to share specifics of the fibers used in her work, and says the greatest majority of her fibers come from Living Felt. See below for colors in her felting palette

Tracey also creates in other mediums including graphite wash, acrylic,watercolor, and pastels. “I’ve dabbled with art my whole life, but let everyday life get in the way of really being serious about it until I found felting. I am now the driven artist I’ve always wanted to be, and I love my palette of wool!”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Roaring Fork Falls

Her Most Challenging Project to Date?

“…creating waterfalls, but the tussah silk I use from Living Felt makes wonderful water. I push the limits of felting with my landscapes all the time, to make them as realistic as I can, and learn a bit more from every one.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Moondance

We asked Tracey about her “next big challenge” … or the project she is dreaming to do:
“Oh, I want to do so many things, and just wish I had more time to felt !!  I plan to do a close up of an owl, and a sheep, and other creatures, and I hope to create even more detailed landscapes and dramatic skies. I just keep adding things to my list of ‘Must Try To Felt That’ !!!”

a. Tracey McCracken Palmer talks about Felting Landscapes on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Misty Highland Glen

Just by following her passion, Tracey is helping to bring felt and fiber art to the fine arts & crafts scene.
In 2014 Tracey was invited to hang a solo exhibit of her work in one of the branches of her local Public Library , which ran from January through March.

In June 2014 she was featured as the “Artist of the Month”  at Twigs & Leaves Gallery, where she sells her work. She has given several demonstrations of her felting technique over the past year at the gallery, and also at a “Quick Draw” event in Haywood County where she lives. Tracey was on the Haywood Art Studio Tour.

At time of our interview Tracey was hoping to  pass the second jury to become a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild; and we are so happy to announce that she has been accepted! As a member, Tracey hopes to show her work and demonstrate at some of their galleries also.  And she exclaims, “I’m just getting started!!”

 

Tracey McCracken Palmer demonstrates felting a landscape on www.livingfelt.com/blog

Quick Draw demo

We asked Tracey what she might offer to those just getting into felting.
“I would encourage beginning felters to just go for it and give it a try. The best part of wet felting is that you can fix things that don’t come out just as you thought they would by adding a bit of needle felting after it dries. And, you can always pull the wool back off after you’ve needled it in, if it doesn’t suit you. It’s a very user friendly medium, and there are so many things one can make with felt.”

Tracey McCracken Palmer on Felting Landscapes with www.LivingFelt.com/blog

A Warm Welcome Awaits

We sincerely wish Tracey all the best, and don’t be surprised if you see a book of her own coming out one day…just remember, you heard it here first, oh, and buy it! :)

Tracey… You Are Brilliant! and Thank you for Felting With Us!

You can follow Tracey on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/BonnieblinkStudio

More work from Tracey on the Living Felt Blog

Needle Felted Picture Forest by Tracey Palmer featured on www.livingfelt.com/blog

Tracey uses a combination of Living Felt MC-1 Felting Batts, Merino Top, Merino Silk Blends, New Zealand Corriedale and other fibers. For the paintings in this post:

Living Felt MC-1 Merino Cross Batts: bamboo, bluegrass, buttercup, true olive, spruce, honeysuckle, foliage, meadow green, shire, birch, vintage brown, winter grey.

Merino Top: yellow, apricot, plum, chocolate, white, black, fir, bottle green, garden ivy, lima bean, olive, mint.

New Zealand Corriedale: cherub, lima, cocoa, candy, apricot, butterscotch, natural white, ice, sky, lagoon, royal, natural light.

Merino silk blends in Woodland for the sky in Moondance, and the water in Borve Beach.

For the tree in Misty Highland Glen, I used your Premium Mohair Locks in Emerald Forest, and of course tussah silk in both waterfalls and Moondance.

Beautiiful Felted Painting!

Felted Picture: Spring Along the Creek

Spring Along the Creek

Felted Picture: Spring Along the Creek

Leedra Scott of New Jersey often needle felts onto purses that she has knitted and then fulled, the imagery is detailed and life-like. This felted painting shows her gift for felting nature!

Leedra has a large selection of MC-1 Batts and NZ Corriedale. Some of the colors used include

Living Felt MC-1 Batts:
Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Brown BlueGrass, Spruce, Olive, Sage, Dusty Blue, Orange Cream, Strawberry, Tulip

Living Felt New Zealand Corriedale: Candy, Fir, Moss, Cocoa

– Leedra Scott, Tennessee

Sweet Felted Picture is a Gift of Happy Times

Bo Thrasher in Washington State shared this great felted “painting” with us.Felted picture of kids playing by Bo Thrasher on www.livingfelt.com/blog

“I live in rural eastern Washington state In the Methow Valley.  A neighbor asked me to make two wall hangings for her with her grandchildren in them doing what they love to do when they visit her! Play outside at the Methow River and play in her back yard that is in the woods below Goat Wall. The kids range from 2-8 years old! She’s giving them as presents to their parents.
… Take care and thanks for your unique company.”

Nuno Felt Wrap from Fairy Hollow

Nuno Felt Shawl - Scarf - Wrap by Marie Spaulding on www.livingfelt.com/blog

This nuno felt wrap was made for a special occasion by Living Felt founder, Marie Spaulding.
It is in one of her favorite color themes with fibers including Merino Top and Merino Silk Blends from the Fairy Hollow Specialty Designer Pack, additional Merino Tops, hand dyed silk chiffon, silk hankies, bamboo and sari silk. Dyes used were Jacquard Acid Dyes.

Nuno Felt Scarf  Shawl or Wrap by Marie Spaulding of www.livingfelt.com/blog

Multiple layers of silk chiffon where used to achieve the flouncy, layered effect. The wool acts as the binding agent and felts the fabrics in place.

Nuno Felt Scarf  Shawl or Wrap by Marie Spaulding of www.livingfelt.com/blog

This can be worn as a nuno felt shawl, scarf or even a wrap skirt … but we hope to share more on that later :)

 

Nuno Felt Scarf Layout Work in Progress by Marie Spaulding on www.livingfelt.com/blog

This is a progress shot of the chiffon and fibers being laid out. Starting size was approximately 108″ long,  ending length approximately 82″ Long. (we will re-measure that).  Shrinkage tends to happen more in the length of the chiffon than the width.

 

Living Felt offers a basic nuno felting a scarf kit, and several Specialty Surface Design packs which include a variety of fibers in complementary colors. This one is from the Fairy Hollow pack.

Share yours on our facebook page, and feel free to leave any questions or comments :)

 

Felted pictures, Wallhangings and art objects!

 ~ Felting Inspirations, Tutorials & Just Plain FUN!
We have a new theme for sharing and inspiring each week!

*
We post images on this theme all week both on the blog and  facebook.

Join the fun, share yours on facebook…and send us your best pics for upcoming themes to submissions  @ livingfelt  DOTcom   Always a chance to win free felting supplies from http://www.LivingFelt.com

See Our Submission Guidelines

Felting Themes: 

   
 
2/28/2015 Beautiful FELTED ART!
Pictures, Wall Hangings & Felt Objects
3/7/2015 Felted Garden
All things found in a garden – flowers, bugs, birds, etc.
3/14/2015 Felted Fairy, Fae & Fantasy Delights!
 
   

Amazing Felted Clothing

 

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Lubov Voronina was born in Ukraine and has been doing needlework since she was a young child. She has a technical education and was a teacher by trade. She began felting when she discovered the Internet and computers. Lubov had been sewing a lot, and found felt to be “a fantastic material for designers.”

 

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

For Lubov, or Lyba as she is also called, felt “opens up new possibilities for your creativity. Now I understand that my knowledge, skills and abilities help me to start a new fascinating business.”

Lubov attributes all of her achievements to her husband and daughter. Together, they have a small felting business called “Crow’s Nest” and their philosophy ” is to create new items, yet infuse each garment with the warmth of our hands and hearts.

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Their workshop is in Ivanovo, Russian Federation, which was previously the center of the textile industry in the USSR and is located approximately 300 km from Moscow.

“Crow’s Nest” is in one of the former textile factories and Lubov and her family are creating new garment designs, patterns for wet felting, creativity kits and providing onsite educational sessions.

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

Lubov shares that felt clothing is their main business, and she enjoys felting vests, long skirts and jackets. According to Lubov, “Seamless vests are the easiest thing to start with when making felt clothing; this pattern is basic for our kits for beginners. I also like experimenting with needle felting, embroidery, leather craft etc.”

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

For Crow’s Nest creations, Lubov uses only pure silk, leather, cotton, merino wool and lamb curls. She does not incorporate any synthetic materials. “I prefer wet felting method, but I’m also like mixing different materials. This is like a game – to see how it will turn out when finished.”  For inspiration, Lubov shares that she always needs “a starting point” for a new piece. “This may be an interesting movie, a memorable melody, a favorite picture, etc. I like nature and spending time outdoors.”

 

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

We love to ask our experienced felt makers what they most often tell students, and towards this Lubov shares:

“I often repeat that felting process is similar to kneading the dough. It is interesting to observe how the wool in your hands turns into compliant clay from which you can sculpt anything. Feel yourself as a sculptor, remember that all your feelings are on your fingertips.”

Her words of encouragement for aspiring artists?
 “Do not be afraid of experimenting and then you will have success.”

For Lubov, the Internet and felting have brought much,
“Thanks to the Internet I have met wonderful people. I think that my life has just begun.”

Russian Masters Felt Crows Nest, Lubov Veronina featured on www.LivingFelt.com/blog

You can purchase felted garments and instruction from Lubov in her etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/ch-en/shop/LybaV

You can also see some great free felting and nuno felt tutorials on her website:

http://www.crowsnest.ru/lessons.html
As a final note, we noticed that her etsy shop was LybaV but she signs Lubov, and asked how she preferred to be called. She let us know that there are many variants to her name, “Lyba, Lubov,  Lyubov, Liubov”, etc. and that all of them mean “love” in English :)”