The first quarter challenge on The Felting and Fiber Forum is to make something using a flat resist, and as I wanted to try something that I hadn't done before, I used Elynn's youtube video that shows how to do the cracked mud technique in wet felting.
The photos above show my first effort (left) and my second effort (right).
I made three layers of merino wool then placed my resist, cut from laminate flooring underlay, on top.
I covered the resist and base layers with three layers of a lighter colour merino wool as I wanted the darker colour to show from under the cracks. Then I topped the wool with some trilobal nylon fibres and a little white tussah silk top.
I rubbed the wool until it passed the pinch test, then cut out the resist. It was very fiddly, even with my tongue poking out at the correct angle! But the effort was worth it. It looked good...until I started to full it.
Now we all know how difficult it is to felt together two pieces of felt that have passed the pinch test don't we? Well not this time! I had to keep releasing the shapes from the base layer - it's as though they were determined to become one layer - so the edges of the shapes and the surrounding border became a bit ragged. So much so that I had to resort to a bit of fine trimming. Hence the large gaps instead of tiny cracks. Unfortunately the raggedy border around the shapes was well and truly felted to the background before I could get my little scissors out.
Trimming the shapes was not in the plan, but it has made the dark base show through well, and I quite like it!
So for my second go, I thought I'd use a thinner resist. The laminate flooring underlay is 3mm thick, so it's hard work to felt the cut-out areas because of the depth of the resist. Also, I decided to continue rubbing a long way past the pinch test before cutting the resist out.
I cut a new resist from thick packaging plastic and I rubbed much longer before cutting out the resist, but I still couldn't get the edges of the shapes 'sharp' - there's a little bit of 'raggedy'. However, practice makes perfect and the second go is an improvement on the first.
Subconsciously I must have been thinking of a giraffe when I laid the orange and white down!