Autumn leaves and eyelash yarn by Julie Turner

I ended 2016 and started 2017 with 2 very different ‘nests’, firstly, a charity shop find which spoke to me: this ceramic tea light holder looked hard and uninviting as a nest but with some clever embroidery with what is often called ‘eyelash’ yarn it changed into a softer more inviting nest. By leaving the ends of the yarns to hang inside and adding more yarn, it became softer more inviting.


During an autumn walk in the scenic Yorkshire countryside my family and I collected some beautifully coloured fallen leaves which I took home to play with. Using an old broken basket that I had hung onto (every artist knows it will be needed sometime! Don’t they? Or is it just me?) I decided to try to weave a nest using only leaves and twigs. This was extremely frustrating! The leaves kept sliding off the twigs and while adding more leaves the twigs would push the already ‘secured’ leaves off. I persevered and after much trial and error I managed to get a nest shape which had no base and was very delicate to the touch. I left it over night in disgust which was a huge error! The following morning all the leaves had dried up and were ‘crispy’ and brittle to the touch! This meant no more playing with these particular leaves and I have not touched them since! The gorgeous vivid colours have remained intact and I have had a few ideas for these new crunchy leaves which I will experiment with and let you know how and if they worked. Some may even make it into the exhibition display areas just for added colour and interest.



2 thoughts on “Autumn leaves and eyelash yarn by Julie Turner

  1. What an amazing transformation to the night light containers with such a ‘simple’ addition of the ‘eyelash’ yarns. It looks beautiful. I understand your frustration with the leaves having worked with autumn leaves to decorate candle lit parade lanterns. They again look richly beautiful with those colours but the texture changes too quickly. However I don’t have any solutions to this problem. We were placing them onto dry wet strength tissue that had been stretched over a withy lantern frame. The leaves were stuck with PVA and then sandwiched with a top layer of wet strength tissue. This process retains the colour but you still have to apply them before the leaves dry out. Note sure if there is a way of spraying them to keep them flexible

    I looked again at Andy Goldsworthy’s low relief leaf sculptures and wondered how much life vthey have when left in the wild. But there are examples of stitched leaves with thorns.

    That said, both nests look good, despite the fragility of the leaves. Maybe it’s best to exhibit that as a photo and accepts this is the final ‘work’


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