a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category

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.

Whitework tree book cover

Friday, April 7th, 2017

There are some things which you really really enjoy making and this book cover was one of them. Inspiration came from a magazine cover.

I began by stitching into some crystal organza to create a tree shape. The thread used was wool yarn and I used a split stitch.

The little twinkles in the shot above are not water droplets but small pieces of glitter on the fabric. I laid out two layers of Blue Faced Leicester wool, placed the fabric on top and then felted it together.

 

To embellish I chose a simple lazy daisy stitch in cream and white embroidery thread.

In addition to the stitch I added small glass beads for that extra twinkle and finished the edge with blanket stitch

I love using crystal organza as it adds so much texture to the finished felt and using white on white wool means you only see the texture and twinkle added, it hasn’t obscured anything. It’s amazing what a diference even simple stitch can make to the finish.

If you feel inspired to make your own book cover why not come along to my workshop on Thursday 27th April, it’s one of my favourite workshops to teach and a fun one to experience. You really don’t need to be brilliant at sewing as even running stitch is really effective when combined with the nuno felt.

Masham pot

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

This is another of the samples I made for the British wool vessel workshop I ran last week. Masham is a lovely wool to work with and I, most unusually for me, decided to decorate the pot with pattern!  I don’t know what came over me and I actually found it quite fun.

 

It’s been s struggle to get anything like half way decent photos and these don’t do it full justice but I can wait no longer to show it to you. The pattern was varied around the pot and used lines and circles, very simple but also very effective.

 

 

 

I used two shades of Masham – fawn and mid brown. You need to see the underneath of the pot too

 

Quite possibly my favourite view of the pattern if not the potm Much as I enjoyed it I found myself wishing for more texture so perhaps my next one should be both patterned and textured 🙂

Fungal pot

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

What inspires you? On this occasion it was fungus that did it for me, the type you see growing straight out from trees.

My version is made from Jacob wool with the fungus in Blue Faced Leicester wool.

It’s worked out quite well but I would make larger fungus next time, not too large or it wouldn’t be in scale with the pot. We almost saw blue sky this afternoon so I dashed home to take a few photos but the cloud was already back! Never mind, you’ll get the general idea. So much grey sky recently that decent photos seem to happen only in my imagination.

Having said that, perhaps I should just make a larger / very large pot and have loads of fungal growths. What do you think?

 

 

British wool book cover

Monday, February 20th, 2017

In April I’ll be running a British wool book cover workshop. This example was created using a mixture of Cheviot, Shetland and Wensleydale wools.

I enjoy putting a few stitches into the wool at the prefelt stage. As I reached the pre felt stage I stopped and put in a running stitch where I wanted to site the main tree branches and then wrapped those stitches with a mixture of threads in brown, grey, black and amber after which I continued the felting process.

After felting the leaves were inserted on the tree with a mixture of coloured threads in french knots and simple bird silhouettes added to the sky for additional interest.

It’s edged with blanket stitch in brown and white embroidery threads. The same technique can be used for pictures as well as book covers. To come along and create your own unique piece of wool see further details and booking here.

Shetland wool handbag

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Next month, on Wednesday 22nd March, I’m running a British Wool Handbag workshop and this is one of the examples I’ll be taking along to inspire people.

I’ve used 4 natural shades of Shetland: white, light grey, moorit and dark brown. Inside the bag is white and there’s one interior pocket.

The handle has the same 4 shades of wool and is attached by means of decorative french knots and finished in a curl.

For a closure I needle felted and then wet felted a ball from the light grey and white Shetland.

This particular style of bag is one of my favourites and if you’d like to book a place on the workshop you can find more details here.

Nuno felt tree scarf

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

I showed you this when I began work on it and here I can show you it finished.

For the background I used a hand dyed silk chiffon scarf in pale shades of green and lilac. I seem to have lost some of the green during the felting process although, when you see the scarf iin real life, you can still see hints of it here and there.

Loving the way this turned out and feeling inspired to make more tree scarves.

My next nuno scarf workshop is on Wednesday 14th June, bookings can be made direct here.

 

Wool vessel workshop

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

I’m running a British wool pot workshop on Thursday 2nd March at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. We’ll make two small pots during the course of the day, one moulded around a bottle or jam jar and one moulded free form. We’ll be using the seamless resist method which is a standard method for most 3D work.

There’ll be a number of British wools to choose from including; Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester, Cheviot, Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, Whitefaced Woodland, Swaledale, Herdwick and Wensleydale. It’s an abosrbing and fun workshop, you’ll love it.

The cost is £50 per day, which runs from 10am – 4pm, and includes all fibres and equipment. All you’ll need to bring is an old towel and a packed lunch. Bookings can be made direct here or to pay by cheque please call me on 07745 160090

Winter landscapes

Friday, January 20th, 2017

I’ve had a fast and furious hour this morning where I’ve taught felt picture making at Moorfield School in Ilkley, our theme was winter landscapes.

Didn’t they do well? (How very Brucie of me!) So much fun but an hour goes by in a flash. As I entered the school I spotted the felt tree of life, which I created last year with the upper sixth, framed and hung in pride of place in the dining hall over the fireplace.

I only had a moment for the photo and sadly couldn’t find an angle where a light wasn’t reflected in the glass. Made me feel quite proud to see it displayed so prominently.