a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category

Whitework book

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

I’ve really been enjoying the whitework I’ve been creating and it’s all thanks to being a member of Metaphor Textile Group. Whilst teaching a felt making session I started this book cover as an example. People often get stuck for ideas or fazed by being asked to design and so this was partly to show how to make the cover and partly to show how focussing on one thing can be liberating and yet work very well as a design.

Working on a white base I added circles (always my go to shape for simplification) of fabric in different shades of white. There is cotton scrim, silk and crystal organza.

After felting I’ve continued with the circlular theme by stitching mainly spirals into the felt. They overlap and again are in shades of white and cream with a metallic silver thread added in for a little extra interest. The photos don’t show the fabrics very well but if you look to the left in the photo below you’ll see the scrim in white and cream.

Adding fabric to your felt adds texture (yum) and adding stitch adds even more texture. In this case more is definitely more with the stitching and feels pleasingly textured to the hand.

This is just one of my items which will be on sale at Trawden Artist and Makers exhibition and open studio event on 21/22 October.

Felt covered vase 2

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

It’s only a couple of weeks since I showed you a felt covered vase which I was stitching into. I wasn’t feeling it, the white stitch just seemed too stark and it needed more.

I’ve added some french knots in an off white silk thread, courtesy of Rosie (thanks Rosie) and some crystal beads and am really liking it now.

This is just one of my pieces that will be for sale at Trawden Artist and Makers art trail and open studio on Saturday and Sunday 21st / 22nd October.

Felt covered vase

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

The glass inner for this vase has been in my studio for some time and I’ve finally pressed it into service.

Some of the texture I added has been lost in the felting but you can still see the three cotton scrim windows.

I’m finding the white a little stark so I plan to add more stitch in richer cream tones and some beads as well. That way it will fit in with the other white pots. Expect to see an update soon.

Now what do you think?

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Remember this from a few weeks ago?

I wasn’t happy and not at all sure what to do with it. In the end I left the shape as is and continued to felt it down. Since then I’ve stitched and beaded it, see what you think now.

All the running stitch is in the same cream embroidery thread and the crystal beads are in three sizes.

It’s appeal has increased I think but there’s still something of an eccles cake about it. Do I love it? No, to be truthful I do think it’s attractive but but hopefully someone else will love it.

Textured white pot 2

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

You may remember this pot from a few weeks ago. I was very pleased with how it turned out and pondered on it for a while but I always knew I would stitch into it.

Round the rim is a mixture of pearl and crystal beads plus french knots in a range of white and cream shades.

Around the centre is a line of stem stitches with short lebgths dripping down from it. Above that is a mixture of beads and french knots as per the rim.

I’m absolutely delighted with the finished pot, I’m giddy with delight and I’m over the moon. Do you get that I like it? It was created with the intention of it being part of an exhibition with Metaphor Tetxile Group but I’m wondering whether to put it on sale at Trawden Artists and Makers event in October. On the other hand perhaps I really want to keep it, what to do?

Hmm….

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

I stopped working on this second white pot a week ago, it has a nuno lace interior and cut throughs to devore on the top. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the overall shape, it’s maybe a little bit flat for me, and it does have creases round the side.

The question I’m pondering and have been pondering for the last week, is whether to continue felting, reshape it and eradicate the creases or whether to sitch on it, as is, and make the creases a feature. It is all going to be about texture, perhaps it would be better to smooth it out and the texture be all about the stitching?

I thought perhaps you might have an opinion but you know what, this little chat has helped me enormously, I think I need to rework it! Even if I smother it with stitches I just don’t think I’m going to love the shape. Isn’t it funny how writing about it here has actually clarified it for me?  Thanks for chatting, I’ll go and make a start.

Textured white pot

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Just a quick catch up to show you the white pot now it’s finished and dry.

Sadly I didn’t manage to get a picture of the textured interior and this one is definitely going to be stitched into so keep an eye out for the next post.

Work in progress

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

After the success of the last pots I wanted to make more but this time I’ve chosen to work in white to tie in with my work for Metaphor. Metaphor is the textile group to which I belong and we’re currently focussing on white work.

The inside is a layer of lace with four fine layers of wool over it. Then I’ve put some devore on top, the resist as you see, then I covered the whole with two more layers of wool. I’ve used a mixture of BFL, Swaledale and Shetland.

Cutting it open seemed to take quite a while. What I should be left with is some circular islands with the textured devore between. I will be stitching into the pot and thought that would make an interesting base to begin with, although I’m not sure quite yet exactly what form the stitching will take. Perhaps I’ll decide after the next post when I hope to show you the dry pot.

 

Woodland pots 3

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

You may remember these pots from an earlier post or two. This is part of the work I’ve created for the misummer night’s dream theme we were working to at Metaphor.

I was extremely pleased with them at the time but I did wonder whether or not to stitch into them. It seemed an impossible decision with opinion divided on the question. in the end I did the only sensible thing and walked away returning some time later to decide that actually I’d give it a go.

Once I’d started I couldn’t stop!

Do you love it? I do, it makes me so happy and my heart sing.

Just looking at them again now makes me want to do more.

I was worried about boring you so I haven’t even added all the 17 photos here but they are all in an album on my facebook page for those who’d care to take a look. Oh, go on then, just one more 🙂

 

Experimenting with oil based ink

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Our local region of the IFA (International Feltmakers Association) is collaborating with Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills to produce a felt exhibition inspired by the mill or it’s contents. It’s a great place to visit with lots to see, I urge you to go and if it’s wool you like then next Saturday 3rd June is Leeds Wool Festival. 

As part of the industrial past of Leeds there are some printing presses and the conservators said they could use one of them to print onto our felt if desired and they proved it by running a test piece on commercially produced felt using oil based ink.

I was keen to see if we could print onto pre felt (part made felt) and fabric and then continue to felt. Would the print survive the felting process? would we still be able to read the words after or would they be too distorted? Taking along some prefelt and fabric to the mill the experiment began.

The picture below shoes print on pre felt prior to further felting

and after

The ink began to disappear almost as soon as I began working on the prefelt, by the end all you could see is these few faint dark marks and then only if you look hard enough. It’s probably because pre felt is very soft and airy and is anything but smooth to print upon. The fibres aren’t locked together properly and therefore there’s insufficient ‘surface’ for the ink to hold onto.

Next up was print onto silk chiffon which I doubled up and got two prints for the price of one.

On cotton muslin with freshly loaded type and then again without reloading the ink.

and on silk

I laid Merino fibres out, placed the fabrics on top and nuno felted in the usual way. Once the fibres were through the felt was subjected to very hot soapy water and lots of pounding and I’m very pleased with how it worked out.

In all instances you can see see and read the print, even on the cotton muslin which is now quite textured, I had feared they would be too distorted or the letters too squashed together to read but they worked out well. Even the faintest print on the silk chiffon

and the silk worked very well which you’d expect as it’s a smooth fabric.

Now to work out how this might fit in my final piece.