I should have started a commission yesterday but after a long morning trying to sort something out on the phone (getting passed from pillar to post then just when I was getting somewhere being cut off accidentally!) I decided to call it a day and shelve the start of the project until today.
Gathering my materials, goodies from Merridee!
Instead, I decided to felt a little open topped bowl using some grey and rust coloured needle felt which was a gift from Merridee and combine this with some light chocolate coloured French landsheep wool and an unusual shiny metallic woven net knitting tape (at least I think that’s what it is), also a gift from Merridee! It was quite interesting working in colours that I wouldn’t usually put together, initially I decided to felt a wide topped bowl using the open resist method and I wanted to include a piece of my eco printed silk as detail on the silvery grey inside. I’m guessing that I need a lot more practice with this method determining the size and shape of my template because the finished bowl is not as wide at the top as I expeced and I also think that I should have used fewer layers of wool but started out with a much bigger resist. In addition to these issues, the eco printed silk didn’t combine well with the prefelt so I pulled it off mid way through the fulling process and the metallic mesh didn’t gleam as much as I expected once the bowl was fully felted.
The outside is now the inside
I think that this is primarily because the French wool is 28 micron and therefore quite hairy, I do like the texture of it however and as I was working and shaping the bowl I decided to turn it inside out and have the design on the inside and the simple brown edged grey on the outside. The French wool felted really easily and was gorgeous to lay out, I think it would be wonderful for large totes or weekend bags so if you’re interested in ordering any it’s code numbet 1464 from Wollknoll!
Anyway, enough for now as I really have to get the sleeveless jacket started, here’s a picture of the finished bowl, it’s much better this way out even if it does look a lot like a flower pot.
The finished bowl, not quite what I expected so plenty to work on
Whew, I was beginning to think that I would NEVER get my largest ArtL!nks vessel felted and fulled!!!!! Over the last week or so I have been giving it a rub and a roll every time I had a spare minute and yesterday afternoon I finally decided enough was enough and decided to declare it finished!
Working any uneven spots on the mohair layer with my felting mouse
I don’t have a lot of time this morning to blog about yesterday (preparing for my session this afternoon with Borris Active Retirement) but thought you might enjoy a couple of photos showing what I was up to at this final stage of shaping the vessel.
You may recall that I laid out this vessel with the intention to have the mohair layer for the outside, as things progressed, I far preferred the inner layer of white merino as I like the subtle colour variations where the mohair fibres have felted through the white. Because of the soft and less structural nature of mohair (as opposed to a vessel felted purely from merino or another fibre) I decided to stiffen the mohair then turn the vessel inside out exposing my favourite side. I think that I will need to leave the vessel dry on the exercise ball for at least a week but hopefully by then the PVA will have dried sufficiently for me to remove the exercise ball and see if this last experiment stiffen has been a success or not!
Sponging on diluted PVA to stiffen prior to turning right side out
My upcoming workshops at Urban Fauna Studio SF, Plainwell MI and Lexington KY are in the last stages of finalising, I hope to have all the details about the various workshops ready by the end of this week!!! I keep forgetting how difficult it is to write workshop descriptions accurately and provide enough information without overloading anyone. I try to be flexible when I am teaching so one title often doesn’t quite do justice to the various techniques that will be shared during the workshop so if anyone has questions once the info is uploaded please shout and I will do my best to answer!
The Mother’s Day Fiber Retreat at Downeville is booking up nicely, Emma (joint owner of The Tin thimble with her mother Sharon) has written a blog post with some links to photos of previous retreats so if you are interested in more information check this out.
As I write this post my current large ArtL!nks vessel is spinning in the washing machine. Today I have been rubbing, rolling and throwing it on top of my kitchen table, it is uncomfortably heavy to handle when wet hence the quick spin to remove some of the excess water! Hopefully it will have shrunk some more by the end of the afternoon, I am really wanting enough shrinkage to make inserting the exercise ball necessary to stretch it into shape before a lot more fulling and finishing. Wish me luck!
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.
I can’t believe that it is a few days since I wrote my last post. Time seems to be absloutely flying here and I really need to get a couple of things finished today before preparing my ‘fashion’ item for the fashion show at the ‘Felt in Focus’ symposium that I will be attending in Denmark at the beginning of July. Over the last few days I have decamped each morning to Carmen’s studio for a full days felting as here is still not totally tidied up after Alan’s election thank you party on Sunday. I made two wallhangings and one large vessel that was pretty difficult to felt as I used my rubbish bin lid for the template (but obviously drew it in the plastic underlay) and it was hard to get the felting process started for such a big piece and roll the package gently. Because of this it took a LOT of rubbing before I could start rolling, in fact the first time that I started rolling I thought the edges might come apart and I had a major panic as it had taken so long to lay out the fibres! Anyway, all’s well that ends well and eventually I had everything holding together well and was able to get on with the rolling and shaping. The bowl is drying now and tomorrow I hope to deliver my work to the gallery in preparation for hanging and positioning on Friday afternoon/evening.
Lampshade with organza
Now I really need to start advertising Sigrid Bannier’s workshops here at Clasheen, they will be taking place during the first week in August and should be great fun. At least two days will be taken up with felt lampshade making and this is something that I am really looking forward to myself.
Sigrid is great at being inventive and I especially like her work incorporating grasses and sticks, mounting or finishing items is not my strong point so I will be on the look out for any tips and tricks to make this job easier!