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The portraits are made of felted wool. This is the medium I have been working in for the last seven years. I use both needle felting and wet felting to create images that look remarkably similar to paintings but are made with 100% merino wool.
The background of each portrait is made from solar-dyed organza silk. I wanted to use silk in this project due to the connection this family had to the silk industry. I had their letters printed as large negatives and then used a solar dye to create a large silk version of the text.
I wanted this exhibit to feel like a Victorian picture wall, so I created a custom design that was then printed on fabric. The image is made of the cotton plant as well as the silk moth on a Mulberry tree branch and a spool of thread. The silk represents the family's connection to the North and the cotton the connection to the South.
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