Not much writing today due to time constraints, plenty of pictures!
Three layers of resist stitched together
One side removed to create five sided resist.
Laying and wetting out the various sides
Fiddly to lay out at the top and bottom of the stitching.
Opening the felt package to remove the resist
I removed the resist from the bottom centre. This demonstrates why the stitching needs to be secure, you don’t want the resist to have disintegrated by this stage!
Now for the hard work fulling and shaping the felt!
More pictures to follow in the next post!
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Posted in Felt, tagged dry felting, Felt, felt sculpture, Felting, fibres, Icelandic wool, resist, silk, wet felt, wet felting on January 28, 2010 |
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Yesterday I started working on my first larger sculpture of 2010. As mentioned before I have planned various shapes and sizes over the last few weeks but luckily I didn’t have enough laminate underlay (to use as a resist) to start working on something particularly big yesterday! I decided to work on a modified shape born out of the sculpture I made last summer in Denmark and set to making the resist and weighing out the wool. For the type of work that I wanted to create a symmetrical resist shape is best. You cut your shape several times and then stitch the various layers together down the middle line using strong thread. For arguments sake just imagine three circles stitched together down the diameter, if you fanned the resulting semicircles out you would have six sides to create your sculpture with. Next you prepare six dry circles of wool weighing each layer to ensure the felt will be even, then you start laying and wetting your wool flipping the semicircles as you go until all the various surfaces are totally encased. For my piece yesterday I worked on a modified figure of eight lying sideways, the curves on the bottom edge were a bit extended and there was a small protrusion on the outside top edge. It took me a while to prepare the stitched resist and as I was working I decided to remove one of the ‘leaves’ to leave me with a five sided template. I decided to use natural white and apple green Icelandic wool with some green and white silk hankies and throwsters waste to add detail and surface interest. It took several hours to get the resist stitched and the five layers of wool prepared and dry felted lightly to help the fibres come together, these were then stacked like pancakes in preparation for covering the resist and wetting out the wool. To be continued …….. with some pictures!
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, workshops, tagged complex bags, complex felt bags, Felt, felt bags, felt scarf, felt workshops, Felting, Lyda Rump, nuno felt, nuno felt scarf on January 26, 2010 |
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I have had several enquiries about the possibility of participants coming for only one day of the complex bag workshop and not both. As there are still spaces available on either day I have decided to throw it open and accept people for either Saturday 6th or Sunday 7th February if they so wish.
Surface detail revealing glass nuggets
Obviously because the bags are complex it will not be possible to plan and complete your bag in just one day but it would be possible to plan, design and get the bag to a stage where you could take it home with you to finish at your leisure. If anyone would like to take me up on this option please either ring me or email asap, I would really like to get everything sorted out before I head to Mullingar this weekend for my felting workshop with Anna.
Patsy the plumber was here again this morning and the bad news is that I won’t have my own water supply for another couple of days although he has rigged me temporarily from a tap in my neighbour’s yard. The heat is back in action however and I have been able to run the washing machine at last and fill the water tank in the attic which is a big relief as I can have a bath again this evening! I can also get back to felting now with a vengeance and although the day is flying by with things to catch up on I hope to make a nuno scarf later in the afternoon and then get stuck into my new large felt sculpture tomorrow.
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Agh, now my heat has gone this morning so no water at all plus no heat today = no felting until services resume on Tuesday with the planned arrival of the plumber yet again! I did manage to carry up enough water from my neighbours yesterday morning to use in the experimental nuno felting workshop (all went well) but have decided to put some time into planning a LARGE felt sculpture over the next two days and not drag tonnes of water up the hill and wear myself out with all the effort!!
Small felt sculpture
For this large sculptural piece I am going to expand on the technique I learnt from amazing Icelandic felter Anna Gunnarsdottier at the large felt sculpture workshop I attended last July at the Felt in Focus Symposium in Denmark. As you can see, the small green and maroon sculpture which I made just after Christmas is three sided and by using Anna’s technique of multiple resists stitched together it is possible to get huge finished pieces with multiple sides, the only limit is how large you can visualise the finished sculpture to be! I want to make a submission for Sculpture in Context again and also work towards something unusual and creative for the Annual RDS Crafts Competition (Royal Dublin Society). Anna also showed us how it was possible to mend and repair our three dimensional pieces anywhere they were weak, this has opened up loads of avenues because she really appeared to ‘rescue’ work which previously I would have thought was totally beyond redemption. By applying this repair technique it means that I can be much more adventures with my shapes than I otherwise might have been so over the next few days I want to plot, plan and challenge myself in preparation for Tuesdays resumption of services and my first large felt sculpture of 2010!
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Posted in Felt, nuno felt, workshops, tagged Clasheen, Felt, felt workshop, Felting, nuno felt, nuno felt workshop, nuno felting, wet felt, wet felting on January 20, 2010 |
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Weather permitting I will take some photos tomorrow morning of the nuno felt wrap I made recently using cotton gauze as the fabric and some commercially produced needle punched merino as the wool. This was another experiment I tried out at the start of my water difficulties and although the needle punched sheet was merino and the end result does look very pretty it does not appear to be as soft against the skin as my usual merino fibres would be.
Cutting out shapes in the needle felt
From a design perspective it did work quite well however. I laid the needle felt on my cutting mat and with a rotary cutter sliced out my design. I wanted it to be reminiscent of foliage and removed leaf shaped pieces which I then added to the reverse of the gauze at both ends and in selected places along the side. The cotton gauze that I was using was a gorgeous apple green and I decided to add small oval shapes in several places formed from hot orange, pink and plum coloured merino. Actually felting the wrap took AGES! The lay out was quick enough but the time saved by using the needle felt was totally eaten up and overshot by the length of rubbing and rolling I had to do to get the fibres to migrate through the gauze.
Wetting out the gauze and needle felt wrap
The ovals of fibre needed a huge amount of rubbing but this was probably because I almost dry felted them in my hands before laying them out on the gauze. Eventually however everything came together nicely and after a couple of hours rolling the wrap was felted and finished. When I take the photos you will see how nice this nuno felted piece looks against the light. In actual fact I think that with a little bit of adjusting it would make a beautiful panel to hang from the trees although with our ongoing weather conditions here in Ireland maybe that would not be the most practical option!
Don’t forget that if you live anywhere within striking distance of me and would like to experiment making nuno felt I have a 2 hour workshop on at Clasheen, Borris, Co. Carlow this coming Saturday morning! Please contact me asap to reserve your place.
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Posted in Etsy, Felt, tagged embellisher, Etsy, Felt, felt landscape, Felting, fiber, fibre, landscape, needle felt, needle felters, romney, wet felt, wet felting, wool on January 19, 2010 |
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Yesterday I was able to finish the large felt landscape that I had started at the beginning of the adverse weather conditions recently. You may remember that I had been playing around laying out loads of different fibres and broken up pieces of cobweb felt for my design, it had been languishing for the last couple of weeks damp in my bath!
Landscape prior to reworking
Anyway, here is a photo o f the piece yesterday morning before I got down to re-wetting and fulling the felt. At this stage it measured approx 85cm X 49cm and you can see that the sky area looks slightly pinkish.
I boiled up a couple of kettles (STILL no heat or hot water!) and immersed the felt into a basin of hot soapy water. It took a bit of dunking and squishing before the fibres totally absorbed the water but once I was sure everything was saturated I soaped heavily and then rolled the piece firmly using my old bamboo blind. Because I was aiming for a nice textured surface and didn’t want too even a surface I didn’t roll for too long, just enough to totally felt the piece and once finished the completed landscape now measures 77cm X 49cm.
The finished landscape
As you can see from this picture of the finished landscape the sky now is white with grey wisps for clouds and extremely pale pink strands of gauze streaking it in places. It is hard to describe how like the mountains surrounding me these colours actually are. Where my farmhouse is situated at Clasheen the Blackstairs Mountains almost enclose me and every morning I am woken up to an ever changing view for inspiration!
Silk threads highlight the hills
The finished landscape is now ready for a new home! To me it is completed as it is and would be a wonderful reminder of Ireland for a special friend. I do think however that if there are any needle felters, embellishers or stitchers out there it would also make an amazing base to work your magic on!! I am going to put the landscape up for sale in my Etsy store as soon as I have had a coffee (internet connection permitting) and am happy to include some extra fibres if anyone would like to play around and embellish the surface some more.
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Posted in Felt, workshops, tagged batts, Clasheen Uncut, Etsy, Felt, felt bowl, felt vessel, felt workshops, Felting, felting workshop, fibre, Icelandic wool Icelandic batts, mulberry silk, silk, tencel, weaving, wet felt, wet felting, wool, wool batts on January 18, 2010 |
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I had just written a long post about my first felting workshop o f 2010 and aggh, the internet connection went while I was uploading the data and for some obscure reason the whole post was lost bar the tags. Forgive this extremely short and abbrigged version but I am terrified that the link will go again and just want to update you on Saturdays return to the felting saddle!!!
On Saturday printmaker and papermaker Sylvia joined me in the morning for her first felting experience. Luckily the water was back in time although since I’ve been on the computer this morning my immersion has given up the ghost, loads of loud electricial noises and now the wretched thing appears to have stopped functioning. Thankfully the kitchen range keeps the downstairs of the house realtively warm while the central heating is not working so once Sylvia had selected her wool this is where we decided to lay out her vessel. She used a combination of apple green, teal and white Icelandic wool with some blue mulberry silk, white cotton gauze and white tencel tops (at least I think that they are tencel!) for surface decoration.
Sylvia working the inside of her felt vessel
If any of you would like to have a go felting with the Icelandic wool it is GREAT for vessels. I am offering simple felting kits and wool for sale through my Etsy shop, just let me know if there is any special colour that you require.
Sylvia with her beautiful completed felt vessel
I am sure that you will all agree Sylvia’s finished vessel is amazing, what a great first felting project.
Before the internet connection gives up the ghost I just want to announce my new blog Clasheen Uncut! This is the place where I will ramble about all my non felting projects so why not pop over and have a look if you can spare the time.
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Posted in Felt, Tutorials, workshops, tagged feling workshops, Felt, felt slip ons, felt slippers, Felting, fulling, shaping, wash board, wet felt, wet felting on January 15, 2010 |
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Ok, I actually have water again since last night so this morning I was able to complete another felt slipper project and this time incorporate some wet felting to finish! The pictures really are self explainatory but it’s important to note that the rectangle of felt I started with was NOT fulled well (an early experiment using batts) and this is how I was able to wet felt hard to finish the slippers.
Cutting in thirds and one third in half
This time I cut the rectange into three and then divided one third in two again, doing this ensured that I would never have ‘two right feet’ again!
Adjusting the length
I sliced a bit off the back of the slippers as when I tried them on before stitching the back I realised that they were going to be VERY long!
I dunked the slippers (one at a time) into really hot water and soaked them before adding plenty of nice unscented soap. Working them in my hands for a minute or two I paid particular attention to the cut edges. Next I rolled them in my bamboo blind before working them on a washboard to shrink and set the shape.
One stitched, one half way through felting
It’s easy to see from this image that the cut edges really needed to be worked well to seal the felt.
Once I was happy that the slippers had shrunk almost to size I rinsed the soap out and and spun them in my washing machine. To finish the shape nicely I put my feet in plastic bags (didn’t want to have to take of my tights, STILL no heat!!) and worked them for a minute or two more on the washboard and banged the edges with a wooden spoon to full them properly.
Finished felt slip ons
Voila, my finished felt slip ons! I am actually very happy with these as although I didn’t want to scrap one of my earliest flat felt experiments I had no idea what to do with the piece and it was languishing in my cupboard. Now I can keep my feet warm and wear the felt with pride! NB Check how the wool that I used to stitch the seams has also felted during the process, more pictures of the process on Flickr.
I am delighted to be invited by Anna Browne to facilitate a BEGINNERS and IMPROVERS FELTING WORKSHOP in Mullingar on Sunday 31st Janurary at the Educate Together National School in Mullingar. If you live in the midlands and would like to attend this fun day please book directly with Anna through her blog by clicking here! You can also see what Anna and her boys have been up to with some of my spare felt, gorgeous gifts and inventive ideas abound on her blog Anna Paints.
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Posted in Felt, Tutorials, workshops, tagged beads, bfelt bag, Clasheen, Felt, felt accessories, felt backpack, felt bags, felt slipper, felt slippers, felt workshops, Felting, fibre, glass, Lyda Rump, seed beads, silk, wool on January 13, 2010 |
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One of the most striking aspects of Dutch felter Lyda Rump’s work is her beautiful attention to texture and surface detail. At both our accessories workshop and the complex bag workshop on 5th, 6th and 7th February learn how you too can enhance your work during the actual laying out of your fibre and by embellishing your felt once it reaches the fulled stage. Including items such as stones and glass pebbles while you lay out your fibres can lead to all sorts of exciting surface possibilities which really enhance the finished felt. Layering strips of silk, artifical fabrics and other fibres on the top layer provide additional depth whilst further embellishing with stitches and small glass seed beads once the felt is fulled add interest and movement to the finished felt. On Friday 5th we will be using our imagination to create fun and stylish felt accessories with Lyda and learning all those finishing touches that go to make jewellery, scarves and other felt accessories so special. This is a great workshop if you have never felted before, come along and leave with some beautiful completed pieces! I will have wool, silk, glass nuggets and beads on hand and Lyda is bringing some of her gorgeous hand dyed silk with her. If you have been looking at some fabric or beads in your stash and are looking for inspiration about how to include them in your felt look no further! Bring everything along and if you have some glittery fabric or mesh bring it along too!! The two day complex bag workshop on Saturday and Sunday will explore the art of creating strong and beautiful multi pocketed bags and backpacks. If you are a beginner/improver and are worried that this workshop might be too advanced for you think again. Felting one of these bags is more involved than creating a piece of flat felt (that’s why they are called complex bags!) but Lyda is a brilliant teacher and I have participated in one of her workshops where an almost total beginner left with a very beautiful and perfectly felted bag. If you would like to attend either workshop places are booking up now, please contact me asap to reserve your place.
Now on to that tutorial for the simple felt slippers that I made (when waterless) to use up an old piece of felt in my stash. This project is not designed to be complicated, just an easy way of utilising a well fulled rectangle of felt and an excellent way for a beginners workshop to leave with a lovely warm and comfortable pair of slippers at the end of the day. You could paint the bottoms with Latex to make them more durable if you wanted, I get mine from Wollknoll. Measurements are fluid but just remember to cut out your felt a couple of inches bigger that you think you need to allow for the stitching. This is especially important with the width, I would have needed my piece of felt to be quite a bit bigger all round if I wanted the slippers to fit my own foot!
Divide in thirds and cut like so
Divide your felt in thirds and cut as per the image.
Round ends and stitch to close
Round the ends and stitch to close. Pinch the back together and stitch up, voila! Your first slipper!!
Oops, just lost my internet connection but back again …. in case I lose it imemdiately you can check out my Flickr images for some more pictures of the slippers in progress, even for a bad stitcher such as me they only took about 5 mins from cutting to finishing!
Oops again, lost my electricity this time ….. Just a quick not of warning, check that you have flipper the felt over before stitching your second slipper otherwise you will end up with two right feet like me!
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