After the success (or lack of success!) with my last attempt to insert wire within my felt I decided to try a small sample as before but insert the wire as soon as I removed the laminate underlay resists. It worked!! I laid out a small landscape in Bheda wool using the mountains and fields surrounding me as inspiration. I inserted the wire, finished the felting and fulling process and voila. It was possible to manipulate the wire to create interesting shapes within the finished felted piece. I can’t wait to try this out on a much more ambitious project but will have to wait until my work for the Green Energy Fair is over.
Archive for May, 2008
Over the last few days I have been thinking of ways to add an extra dimension to my work. Yesterday I created a sample piece that incorporated some strips of laminate underlay as resists. For those of you who have never felted before a resist is just a piece of something (eg. supple plastic, laminate floor underlay or oilcloth) that the wool fibres will not adhere to during the felting process. This means that where ever you position the resist a pocket within the finished piece will be created. I decided yesterday to make a two tiered piece of felt with a darker background and a light wool and linen foreground. Within the top layer I also incorporated three strips of resist, the idea being that when I removed them at the end I wanted to insert either wire or some other thin items. My intention had been to play around with the final insertion and possibly try twisting the wire into some interesting combinations. Even though I thought that my piece was fully shrunk and felted before I removed these strips, the ends of these hollow tubes bonded together slightly when I did the final rinse and throwing. Today I am going to try to open up the tubes but I actually think that next time I will insert the wire or whatever as soon as I remove the laminite resist. Will update you on progress as soon as I get the next piece finished.
Delving through the goodies in my delivery from Germany has sparked so many creative projects it is almost hard to concentrate! I decided to work my first piece in Alpaca without adding any other fibres and see how it reacted to felting. The fibres looked absolutely amazing laid out on the bubble wrap, exactly like a long hank of beautiful chestnut hair. They were really quick to felt and surprisingly I found that they felted particularly well in the opposite direction to how I had laid them out. Because I wanted to make a long supple scarf I had just laid one layer, almost as fine as cobweb feling. Anyway, pretty soon I had a really soft but pretty narrow scarf, really luxurious, but a bit plain. I do like some items to be very unadorned but next time I am going to add a little of the finest merino wook and a few silk strands to see what the difference is.
My love affair with felt continues. Yesterday my delivery of fibres and equipment arrived from Germany, seventh Heaven! Already I have managed to create 2 new scarves and tonight I will be tutoring again, probably do some really light and supple marino creations. Have now attended the Artlinks morning on blogging for beginners, I hope I can put it into practice.
Carmen lent me her sander (yes a Black and Decker sander) and I have been playing around with it at the early stages of the felt making process. You need to be careful to have a light sheet of plastic between you and the fibres, otherwise the holes in the plate of the sander will suck up the wool or silk. Last night I made a Nuno felt scarf and also tried to use some prefelt cutouts on top of Bheda wool, a course wool that felts really well. The prefelts were not make from 100% wool and the sander definitely helped to secure them into the feltmaking process. Will keep you updated.