Furry Felt with Heidi Grebb

Workshop number 3 and it is still only May! I have been very naughty and signed up for another too… with Rutsuko Sakata in early June, and that will be followed by Christina Pacciani in July. I really need to stop but they are so much fun! 🙂

Heidi Grebb’s workshop was probably the hardest I have worked on felt in a long while, we spent 3 incredibly long (9 am to 6 or 7 pm) days and carried on with homework in the evening, she is a teaching machine! Despite our herculean efforts only one of us (Janine) managed to finish her waistcoat before we had to leave. I finished mine at home last week.

The main focus of the workshop was to make a furry felt garment, using locks to add texture but we also spent a lot of time learning how to take a favourite piece of clothing and scaling it up to make a felt piece that will shrink to the right size. Heidi also had an interesting method for assembling your work from flat panels to make a seamless, 3 dimensional garment without using a resist.

This is my finished bolero jacket:

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Although I love the colour and the texture I’m afraid it does not fit me very well 🙁 I guess I will just have to have another go!

This week I have been playing with snails again. What do you think, are the extra rings on his shell and the lip for the bottom of his shell an improvement or should I stick with the original design?

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This is the original snail, all dry now so you can see his silk fibres better:

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Bags with Judit Pocs

I can’t believe it has been 3 weeks since the bag workshop with Judit Pocs and the Region 1 (Devon and Cornwall) IFA ladies. Another very successful and brilliantly fun 2 days. Most of the participants (myself) included were a little over-ambitious with what we could achieve in 2 days and barely managed to get our bags to the prefelt stage before we had to pack up and go home. I  finally finished my bag nearly a week after the workshop ended but I think it was worth spending nearly 3 days toiling over. The green diamond on the front is a button made from felt that holds the front flap down.

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The purple bulge in the strap is a little pouch for your keys.

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This is the back side with an extra large pocket.

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Last week I attended an incredibly intense, 3 day workshop making a “furry felt” bolero jacket with Heidi Grebb (more on that next time) and this weekend I have been making a snail hat, it is still damp and and the light was fading when I took these photos, but I think you get the idea…

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Cell Morphology

Last week I started exploring binding techniques for a new wall hanging I have in mind, my idea is to create a confluent layer of cells, organically spreading across the wall, this was my first experiment, the pods were made individually and attached to thin layer of felt to join them together:

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In this version all the resists were covered in a single layer of wool on each side, as predicted, serveral of the “pods” have merged into one mega pod with several holes:

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This layout was much quicker and the resulting effect is much more amorphous – the individual pods blend almost seamlessly into each other.

My final experiment was a blend of the 2 methods above, the resists were individually covered with black wool before covering all of them in a continuous layer of green wool.

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While the pods are less discrete than in the first experiment, the individual forms are more defined than in the second experiment.

I’m leaning towards the technique from first test sample for the final piece, simply because it lends itself towards using a different coloured base and it will be much easier to make “accent” cells of a different colour.

What do you think? Which version would you prefer to see?

Easter Weekend

I love the long holiday weekends and Easter, with both the Friday and the Monday off is the best of all, a whole 4 days to do with as I please, and invariably that means textiles!

I’ve had my fingers in lots of different textile pies this week:

A new nuno dress (photos of that later – it is nearly finished so won’t be too long to wait).

My first attempt at a tailored jacket, I love everything about it except for the collar reveal, it’s all lumpy and misshapen and I can’t figure out why… it will be accompanying me to my dress-making class, hopefully the tutor can explain what I have done wrong and, more importantly, how to put it right.

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Back in the felt world, I made a new lacy scarf and, while I was dyeing this, I put in a few pieces of prefelt, I’m debating on cutting up the prefelt to make nuno scarves with geometric designs.

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I am finding myself drawn back into the beauty of the microscopic world (in part thanks to pinterest) and have been developing an idea for a 3D representation of a carpet of cells. I am thinking a series of small pods, the interiors will be black so that when I cut an opening they will appear to have nuclei. The question is, how to join them together? I have 3 or 4 ideas on how I might achieve this. This is my first test piece…

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I’m ashamed to say I have been procrastinating terribly over posting my work on Etsy for the last few of months to the point where I have a box full of work now waiting to be listed. However, I have been making amends this weekend and photographed 80% of it, now I  just need to make myself sit down and write the descriptions and titles. Definitely a job to be done in front of the TV with a glass of wine in hand! 🙂

What have you been up to this weekend?

Safely home (and fed)

The parrot eating sea monster I completed a couple of weeks ago has found his way safely across the Atlantic, as Ceci his new owner said, he must have a fantastic sense of smell to be able to sniff out his new prey all that way 🙂

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Ceci took a couple of videos of Ki’s first interactions with his new hidey-hole, at first he looked a little uncertain, apparently Senegal Parrots are rather wary of anything new entering their environment, and to be fair to Ki, the sea monster definitely falls into the weird category!

These are the videos Ceci took:

Ki meets the sea monster

Ki is regurgitated after exploring inside the belly of the beast

Thank you Ceci, I’m chuffed to bits to see that they are getting along, I hope Ki appreciates what a generous mommy he has! 🙂

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