Evening classes and using an electric sander when felting!

Started today with a big clean up around the Rayburn, maybe it didn’t like me putting my felted coils in it or something but on Friday the range decided that enough was enough!  Anyway, I had just got a delivery of oil so maybe the last dregs were a bit dirty or something but it cut out on Friday afternoon just when the new oil had arrived.  To be honest it was a good opportunity not to relight it and take the opportunity to give it a good ‘Spring’ clean.  Right now it is recieving a service and by this evening it will be as good as new, hot food and water at last. 

Anyway, once I had cleaned the range I was able to start felting.  I had already decided that today was going to be the day when I tried my big floor sander out on a trellis scarf.  Carmen lent me a small mouse sander previously but although it did work the experience today was a 100 times better!  I laid out my wool on the smooth side of bubble wrap, wet it out as usual with warm water and olive oil soap (making sure not to over wet) and then laid a piece of laminate floor underlay on top of it.  The main thing to remember when using a sander is that electricity and water don’t mix so you must be CAREFUL.  I then placed the sander on top of the underlay and turned it on at the full setting, WOW, the fibres almost blended together instantly.  The sander just replaces the need to rub your hands over the bubble wrap loads of times before you start rolling, it doesn’t replace the rolling or the hand made nature of the felt when you are felting and fulling.  It also wouldn’t be suitable for every item you wanted to make but for the trellis scarf it was brilliant at getting the sections where the wool crossed to felt together.  In the morning I am going to take a few pictures, weather permitting and I will post them to the blog.

Several friends have asked me about running evening classes so I am happy to say that I have decided to run a 5 week beginners course starting on Thursday 30th October at 8pm.  Give me a call on 087-2789740 or email me if you are interested in attending the course.  All materials to make at least one item each evening are included in the price, tea and coffee will be on tap and each class will cost E25.  I can guarantee that they will be fun!  You might even get inspired to create all your own Christmas presents or a few special ornaments to hang on your tree.  Other times and days by arrangement.

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Felted coils

Carmen and I had intended to meet up at mine this morning and settle in to a productive mornings felting.  Unfortunately poor Carmen has picked up some kind of bug or virus and was totally unable to make our session so I called over to her house and dropped back again later to check that she was OK.  As a result I didn’t get as much time as expected to work on my last couple of ideas for ‘Breaking Out’ but I did work on some felted components that I will utilise tomorrow at a marathon felting day!  I am working on a neckpiece which will feature felted coils, I am making the coils by wrapping felt cords around metal knitting needles while wet and then baking them in my Rayburn until the wool is dry and the curls are fixed.  They seem to be working.  My intention is to make a lariat or choker with both ends finishing in long curly pieces of felt, sounds strange and maybe it will be!  Update promised tomorrow and a few new pictures.