Making cords the Australian way!

Before I discuss the new way that we learnt of making cords at the Anita Larkin workshop, I just want to say that all the techniques we tried over the weekend ultimately unite and allow you to create exciting scupltural 3 dimensional pieces of felt!  At first it seems that learning how to make cords is very basic at a workshop for people who have all felted before but you are never too late to learn new techniques.   Most of you are familiar with making cords and probably everyone has their favourite method.  How many can there be you might ask but I certainly learnt a totally different method from Anita than any I had seen used before.  Lay out a long layer of very fine fibres in a diagonal and then lay a second layer on top of these in the opposite direction, also diagonally.  If you want to make a thicker section lay some more layers in that place and then dry felt the fibres by lightly moving your hands over them as with wet felting.  Using your spray bottle VERY lighlty wet along only the edge of the fibres and then roll them gently into a log shape.  If you are going to be attaching this rope to another piece of felt leave the ends dry for the moment.  Using the minimum amount of warm water lightly wet the sausage shaped fibre log and with soapy hands roll it very lightly on your bubble wrap, blind or sushi mat.  As far as I can see the biggest difference is in the way the fibres are laid on the diaganol and the volume of (or lack of) water used.  This seems to make a very solid and strong cord.  Shapes that were started as in the previous post may be added on at any time once the cord starts to hold its shape or the cord itsef may be attached to another piece of felt that you are in the process of making.  Next post I will discuss inserting wire into felt and wrapping a solid object in felt.  I also want to post a few more images of work that I have completed recently to keep the blog a little bit visual!

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5 thoughts on “Making cords the Australian way!

  1. Sounds interesting, but a little hard to visualise for a novice felter. Bring on the photos! And do you plan to run a workshop in the future to share any of these skills?

  2. Hi Anna, Yes it is a little difficult to describe, much easier to understand when demonstrated in front of you! I am going to be running workshops at my home/studio as soon as the Irish Green Gathering is wrapped up towards the end of August. My idea would to have a variety of different options; simple classes of approx one and a half hours, full day workshops working towards specific projects and weekends or mid week breaks where I would also organise accomodation locally for the participants if required. Keep an eye on the blog because as soon as I have the dates set I am going to put up a new page with all the info. If anyone was interested I am also happy to travel and teach beginners workshops at different venues throughout the country, I can bring all the supplies with me so all you need are a few people, access to hot water and the space!

  3. For me bullet points seem to help. I reformatted for my use and leave this for similar readers:

    Lay out a long layer of very fine fibres in a diagonal
    Lay a second layer on top of these in the opposite direction, also diagonally. 
    If you want to make a thicker section lay some more layers in that place

    Dry felt the fibres by lightly moving your hands over them as with wet felting. 

    Using your spray bottle VERY lightly wet along only the edge of the fibres Then roll them gently into a log shape. 

    If you are going to be attaching this rope to another piece of felt leave the ends dry for the moment. 

    Using the minimum amount of warm water lightly wet the sausage shaped fibre log and with soapy hands roll it very lightly on your bubble wrap, blind or sushi mat. 

    What I do wonder is how to make them softer, more flexible. My friend Lindy was at that worksop and made a marvelloous thing which is haunting me!

    • Thanks for your comment re cords! I find if you want to have a softer cord make sure to felt a good skin on the outside but don’t felt for as long as usual, allow the roll to stay soft and less felted inside.

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