Hats with Judit Pocs

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy… After 9 happy years working for Eli Lilly and Company I handed in my notice, it was a  very difficult decision, the people I work with are so wonderful I am already grieving at the thought of not seeing them every day. I hope we will stay in touch but I know how difficult it is to maintain friendships if you don’t meet up regularly.

Now I am finding that it is very true what they say about job hunting be a full time occupation in itself but at least I am in the fortunate position of being able to be selective about which opportunities I apply for.

Last week was spent in sunny Devon, attending 2, two-day workshops with the very talented Judit Pocs, a felt-maker from Hungary.  The first workshop was in Tiverton, making hats. I have attended a hat making workshop with Judit before and she was so generous with the variety of styles and techniques that she taught in that first workshop, I wasn’t expecting to learn any new techniques, I was approaching this workshop as a fun activity vacation. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The whole group managed to finish at least one hat in the 2 days, most of us had at least started a second, even if, like mine it wasn’t finished before we had to leave the community centre.

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A selection of the hats we made, the white, blue and red one to the right of centre was also a bag!
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The texture on this hat was from a beautiful devore silk fabric
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Claire’s hat – she and I used a similar technique to create silk ruffles

The next few photos are of the “cat hat” I made first, I’m very happy with how the sequins in the ears and the silk over the felt “bumps” turned out.

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In the last couple of hours I made use of one of my screen-printed prefelts to make a “boxy” hat.

This was the prefelt before laying out the hat:IMG_6125

And the (nearly) finished hat, it just needs a couple of stitches to hold the felt ring in place:

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As with the other printed prefelts, the finer details of the print, such as the orange circles from the bubble wrap, disappeared but the rest of this print was so bold it has held up well to fulling.

Judit also ran a bag workshop after the hat workshop, more on that soon!

Q1 Challenge for 2016 – Part 2

The Chain Hat is progressing although it has been a little bit argumentative; I have had to resort to stitching more of the links together than I had initially planned.

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I started a new hat yesterday that also fits into the resist theme, this one was inspired by the phrase “fiery red-head” and will hopefully look like an inferno on the wearer’s head when it is finished. It is still a work in progress but here it is before cutting in the flame shapes.

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Q1 Challenge for 2016 – initial thoughts

The lovely ladies at the Felting and Fiber Studio have just posted the first challenge for 2016. This year the challenges will focus on different techniques, for Q1 the technique is resists…. more info can be found on their site here.

I use resists in almost all of my felt work so making a simple vessel, bag or applying a cracked mud design to a piece feels a bit like cheating, this is meant to be a challenge after all.

I have been an admirer of Australian felt artist, Sue Smorthwaite’s work since I met her on a workshop with Fiona Duthie last year, when thinking about this challenge my thoughts kept returning to this piece in particular.

Sue Smorthwaite – Weighted Untruths

So, interlocking chains were high on my wish list for this piece. I settled on a hat and started sketching ideas and opted for this version (apologies for the scruffy sketch, this was just me jotting down ideas).

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Sue appears to have stuffed the links of her chains, while I can do that for the rings that rest on the head, I fear stuffing the dangling rings will make it too heavy so will need to find an alternative solution, either fulling the felt so that it is stiff enough to hold the ring shape or applying some fabric stiffener. I expect I will need a combination of the two.

Cutting out the resists:

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Covering with wool and adding some decoration to make the “chains” appear to be rusty:IMG_5774 IMG_5775

This piece is already proving to be a little argumentative, the links that should remain loose and moveable keep trying to felt to each other and the rings that I need to felt together are doing their best to resist felting.

What do you have in mind for your challenge piece?

Productive Weekend

It’s not quite finished but now the sleeves are attached the hooded jacket looks a lot closer to finished.

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It just needs a button and some top stitching down the front and it is finished

Yesterday I made another cat-eating fish, cat cave from some hand-dyed Corriedale.

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Feeling inspired by this pine cone:

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I made a bowl:

 

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And I finally finished these 2 scarves, originally I put a rolled hem on these but did not like the finish so removed the hems, reshaped the scarves and felted the edges to stop them from fraying.

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The silk is still very shiny, the photos really don’t do it justice at all.

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What have you been up to?

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