It’s Official!

My City and Guilds certificate arrived yesterday, I heard that I would pass in October but did not want to tempt fate by telling people until the certificate had safely arrived. Silly I know, but I am strangely superstitious like that. It has finally arrived, and to my surprise is actually 2 certificates…

To celebrate I started making myself a nunofelt dress, it’s not quite going to plan but I think it is still salvageable with a bit of dressmaking. My biggest learning so far is that the “holes” (i.e. around the neck line and arm holes) in the template should not be increased by 50% along with the rest of the garment…. more on that next time.

Here are couple of other pieces I have been working on this week:

It may not be that easy to see from this photo but I have used resists to create flower patterns peeking through the green, I plan to add some embroidery to the centres of each flower.

This piece has been sat on my table for a few weeks now and I still can’t decide where to go with it, should I just leave it as it is? The yellow and pink patterns are rather nice but not as striking all the way round as they are in the photo below. I could add some embroidery but am concerned it might just detract from the dye pattern. Another idea I had was to cut holes about a 1/4 of the way down and add a drawstring to make into a bag rather than a pot. It stands about 30 cm (12″) tall. What do think? What would you do?

I also made a couple of coin / key purses to match the 2 bags I made recently, both will have a zipper on the back and the loop at the top allows for a key hoop to be attached.

This is another coin purse, but using the flower resist technique again, the zip will sit across the top where you see the line of orange. I plan to add some embroidery to the centre of the flower on this one too.

Hope you are have a creative week too… 🙂

Felting Exhibiton

Last Sunday saw the second International Feltmakers Association (Region 5) exhibition in Sonning Common. It was a good day with lots of chat, very nice cakes and some felting demonstrations from yours truly. The visitor numbers were rather low due to incorrect dates being advertised in various papers and magazines. I’m not at all happy about the poor organisation but I won’t keep harping on about that, I still managed to have fun and met some really lovely people.

The exhibition as you walk in
My display area
The view from the far end of the hall

I also had an interesting experience with some wool I was demonstrating with. I was making pods and used a coarse red wool (afraid I don’t know the breed) on the inside and variegated purple merino on the outside. The coarse wool almost refused to the felt. Even when the merino was firmly felted there were still unfelted tufts of the coarse wool but it did give a very interesting texture that several people likened to a brain.

I also made a couple of more conventional pods and think I might have even inspired one of our feltmaking group to have a go at making pods too 🙂

Blogiversary

I have just realised that this blog reached its one year anniversary on Tuesday. I can’t believe how the time has flown.

I had a look back through my old posts expecting to find my style or felting techniques to have changed over the year but I’m not sure they really have. Certainly I have learned some better ways of making felt but for the most part I am still using the same basic techniques such as nuno felting and using resists and inclusions in my felt. The only obvious change is my choice of fibres, a year ago I was almost exclusively using merino but lately have been using more Corriedale and BFL. Have you noticed any changes in your felt-making over the last year or so?

Here are a couple of pieces I have been working on this week.

The finished pumpkin bag:

And a couple of pods:

I have also been working on a second lichen-inspired wall hanging which is currently drying with various pins holding the lichen folds in place. I will post a photo in a day or two when the pins come out.

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

A Productive Week

Not sure what happened to me this week but it’s like someone put amphetamines in my coffee. Last week I could barely motivate myself to cook for myself and only managed to produce one piece of felt. This week I have turned into a felting whirling dervish… Here are a few of the things I have started / finished so far this week:

I dyed the lacy scarf I made on Sunday but after looking at it for a couple of days decided I wasn’t that happy with it so put it back in the dye bath.

Much better!
It now makes me think of autumnal leaves falling into a river.

Some felt cuffs using a similar technique to the scarf, there is an adult and 2 child sizes, I think you can just see where I have cut some slits in the adult one, I hope the cuts will open up to make a lacy effect with a little felting persuasion.

A little felt pod made using an adaptation of the lacy felt technique to create the loops you can see in the second picture.

A felt vase made from some shibori dyed prefelt, this is still very much a WIP but I hope the top will look like a 5-petal flower when it’s finished.

A Halloween-inspired bag, still quite a long way to go on this one but I think you can make out that it will be a pumpkin… one day!

I started this “coral” piece before I went on my hols but it takes so long to needle-felt each strip into place that I only just got as far as wet felting it this week. It is currently drying and waiting to be fixed to some stretcher bars.

These 2 pieces were started at Dagmar Binder’s class in September. The pale blue piece was an uninspiring, flat multi-layered disc that I have been looking at for weeks trying to decide what to do with it. I finally picked it up and started playing with it this week, folding it this way and that and this shape was born. An hour of stitching later and it is now drying in it’s new form. Given that I was ready to throw it on the reject / recycling pile a few days ago I’m rather pleased with how it turned out.

The dark blue piece below is a sewer’s bowl, the raised ring around the outside is a perfect pin cushion, while the bowl will prevent your reels of thread, beads etc. from rolling away. It was inspired by photos of a coral polyps:

A nuno felt scarf (would you believe, dyed the silk, felted and finished this week, including a rolled hem).

I also felted this cotton scrim and embroidered bowl, even after using CMC to stiffen it I wasn’t that happy that it would keep its shape so opted to felt it.

And finally another piece from Fiona Duthie’s surface design class. I think this might be come a book cover…

As if all this wasn’t enough I have also scoured and dyed a Shetland fleece, all the beautiful colours are busy drying over my bathtub. More on those in another post.

I think I have earned myself a glass of wine 🙂 Hope you are having lots of fun in your felting adventures too 🙂

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

Sculptures to Dye For

I confess I have been a bit slack about posting lately. Sorry about that but I have been doing bits and pieces of felt making and dyeing. I dyed these pieces from my workshop with Yvonne Habbe a couple of weeks ago but have only just got around to taking photos of them. I think most of them turned out really well.

This one is about 4 inches long and I am tempted to stitch some beads into the cleft down the centre and turn it into a brooch.

This was my spherical pod from the first exercise on the workshop, I’m pleased with how the rainbow dyeing has turned out.

I love the colours and floral shape of this piece but it is too large to be a brooch – maybe a small bowl?

I have been making lots of these to test out how different wool breeds behave in these small sculptures. This one already has a brooch pin on the back.

This is another brooch, it wasn’t intentional but after adding the dark beads it now reminds me of a pomegranate.

This sculpture (about 10 inches tall) reminds me of a tellytubby – again that wasn’t my intention at all when I drew the template and started shaping the felt!

This piece still needs a bit of work, I think I will stitch down the curly tips to hold them in a tighter spiral and add a brooch pin to the back. It measures about 6 inches across.

OK – so the eagle-eyed amongst you have probably noticed this one and the next have not been dyed, instead they have been treated with a cellulose based stiffener.

Not sure if anyone else has tried making a hollow cube from felt? This has to be one of the most difficult things I have tried to do with felt, as you pull and stretch one side to straighten it you end up pulling another edge out of shape. I plan to add some stitching to this one, more on that next time.

And finally, a little tease, this is one of the bag designs I have been working on since Yvonne’s workshop, it is actually a coin purse (or will be) that will have a matching handbag.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

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