a life of fibre

Posts Tagged ‘vessel’

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

Textured vessel workshop

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

I always look forward to workshops, to seeing what people make but, on the day, some workshops seem to have a really good feel about them that makes them stick in your mind as a good one. This workshop was one of those, great atmosphere and I just loved what people made. It’s a fab feeling to think I helped them to achieve such brilliant results, especially as two were new to felt making.


Unusually, I took a couple of shots during the laying out process and the one below is my absolute favourite, so pretty.


In the flesh it looked like a most delicious cake! The monotone below also caught my attention., I was drawn to it’s curly exuberance.


I just had to show you this one again, finished, with the lace on the bottom which reminded me of a potters’ mark.


And a full frontal of it!


The next two were made by new felt makers and, for me, the red one has a romantic feel, love the vibe.


What can I say, purple and orange are one of my favourite colour combinations, I was always going to love this.


It’s hard to believe at times that every one of these pots came off the same shape resist. It’s about where you cut and how you shape. This next one really did have the feel of an underwater scene so scalloping the opening was perfect.


The ‘cake’ somehow became less cake and more vintage as it was felted and the plain white second opening really helps to set it off.



Sadly people weren’t willing to leave their creations with me 🙁 I guess I’ll have to make my own.

Dual purpose pot

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

In an earlier post I showed some dyeing I’d been doing that I intended to use on some Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired work. I began this pot by carding up lots of browns with a little grey and black for the interior of the pot, I wanted it to be dark and not detract from the exterior.


Midi continued to oversee my work, it’s nice to have company. For the two external layers I carded up lots of green, all of the carded wool was from my bit bag so it was using up fibres at the same time 🙂



There is: bits of broken skeleton leaf, silk, scrim, synthetic fabric, bits of hessian, silk fibres, mulberry silk bark and Teeswater curls all hand dyed.



Lots of texture all way round.



To become one of my pieces for Midsummer Night’s Dream this is just the start but in the meantime it will serve a dual purpose and become a sample for the textured vessels workshop on 30th April. Once I’ve worked on it further I’ll show it again.

Skeleton Leaf Vessel

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

In the past I used skeleton leaves on a wall hanging but decided it was time to play with them on 3D work.On 30th April I’m running a workshop exploring vessels with surface texture and this will be one of my samples.

I began by laying out 4 fine layers of Merino in the usual way and then placed five of the skeleton leaves on top.


You need to leave a gap between the leaves as that will close up as the wool felts. My trusty helper Midi oversaw all work.


Off the resist and beginning to shape it with my mini and rounded palm washboards. Essential that you use a net to protect the leaves during work.


I’d hoped for a sunny day and some outside shots to show it off instead, you’ve got inside on a damp and grey day – sorry.



Not sure that you can tell in this shot but it’s a  soft pentagon shape, rather lovely even if I do say so myself. You’d expect that the leaves would break with all the rolling and rubbing but it hasn’t been my experience. Top tip – leave the leaves soaking on the wet wool before commencing work and always use a net to prevent breakages. Next workshop Saturday 30th April – vessels with surface texture.


Vessel workshop

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Last month was the vessel workshop where we had a great time making pots from British wools including; Blue Faced Leicester, Manx Loaghtan, Jacob and Wensleydale.


They look particularly pleasing as a group don’t you think? The blue colour is dyed BFL. We all began with a circular resist yet you can see the variety of shapes achieved from that same simple beginning. It’s one of the great pleasures of workshops that people produce such variation from the same start point.


The red is dyed BFL and the blue is hand dyed Swaledale. With the second set of pots we worked on producing a resist for felting around vases and jars. Again, it’s the grouping that makes it so pleasing. It’s fun to make two in one day, one free formed and one around an object plus, it was an opportunity for everyone to try two separate wool types.

Every sheep breed produces different wool and it’s one of the many joys I get from felting is to play and experiment with the different wools. There are more pots coming up in April with opportunities to add fabrics, spikes, cut backs and cut through to our work. Check out the workshop page if you fancy coming along.

Surface texture vase

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

This sweet little pot was made a couple of weeks ago from Jacob and Teeswater wools.

It was made using a basic circular resist with a felt ball hidden in the layers that I then cut back to reveal.


The interior is turquoise Merino and there’s hand dyed Teeswater around the edge of the pot.


On the three front fins there’s also a thin line of turquoise Merino.


It underwent various shapes during felting as I played around with the final shape. This final shape was the most pleasing and I can even see this as a hanging pod. It was fun experimenting with extrusions and textures and there’ll be a lot more of this in my textured vessels workshop on 30th April.

Bergschaf vessel

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

I read about Bergschaf wool and how people liked making felt with it so when we got some in at Adelaide Walker I jumped at the chance to try it. Bergschaf is an Austrian sheep, 30  micron, short staple with a good crimp and comes in a carded batt. To be honest the wool has more vegetable matter in it than I’d like but I was ready to give it a go.


On Saturday 9th May I’m running  a vessel workshop at Wharfe Wool Fair so I thought I’d kill 2 birds with one stone by trying out the Bergschaf and making a sample at the same time.


As it’s a carded wool batt it’s very quick and easy to lay out which will make it easier for any new felters. I laid out two layers on each side and finished with some tussah silk on the centre top. It wasn’t very long before it was ready to come off the resist, another plus for anyone new to felting.


It’s quite a hairy wool which you can see has worked it’s way right through the silk but it makes a splendid vessel and was very quick to felt. Now it’s dry you can feel just how sturdy the felt is, I really rather like it and it’ll mkke beautiful hard wearing bags too. There’s still a few places on the workshop on Saturday if you’d like to come and try out this technique and this wool.


Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Saturday morning dawned dark, cloudy and very wet. Simon and Charlotte had planned to accompany me to Scarborough and whilst I was at a felt workshop they would go and play with their cameras on the beach. The weather made that plan seem unwise but they went and were rewarded with a lovely sunny, if cool, day.

I was dropped at the church hall for a day of indulgence. No boot full of fibres and equipment for me just towels and lunch. It was rather freeing to be at someone else’s workshop and not have to worry about anything other than what I was making. Having chosen to do shirbori vessels with Jenny Pepper I was looking forward to the day and having time to experiment.

We began by using a resist and laying out our wool before felting in the usual manner.


You can see it’s an odd shape. After felting it most of the way we stopped and began using shirbori tying techniques to create texture and shape in our work. Below is a selection of items that I used in my felt.


At the end of the day this is what they looked like.




The first image is of my felt and look I’d made a thing! Now we had to wait for the felt to be bone dry before we could snip off the bindings.


We all seemed to really like the shapes created by putting objects like marbles and pebbles into the work but I also liked the stitching which was ruched in creating extra texture. Binding some of the spikey bits added further texture but these weren’t my favourite parts.




It’s a very sculptural piece of felt which my husband thinks is a weird thing but my teenage daughter thinks is cool. Me? I’m very pleased with the outcome and can envisage using elements of this technique in other work. I had a lovely day with Jenny experimenting and most of all, just having the time to play around and think about future workshops.


Three more workshops are in the offing over the next few weeks, I can’t wait!



Sunday, April 13th, 2014

I had two cameras to hand on Thursday, the first one was throwing an error which I couldn’t sort and my lovely daughter had stolen the SD card from the other so I had to make do with my mobil. Ssorry about the quality folks. The first four are all Blue Faced Leicester wool. This lovely shape is from Sue.


I really liked the square shape that Kay went for but have it on good authority that she has since changed it.


Nicki’s little pot was delightful.


Jane turned up despite feeling very under the weather and made this lovely little pot. Both Jane and Kay added silk to their pots which’ll help them shine when they dry out.


I just love the fiery colours and exuberance of Jane’s second pot.


Nicki created her second pot to reflect the colours of the woodland she can see from her kitchen window. Very successful.


Kay’s pot had a strong retro feel and was made in my favourite shade of blue.


Sue’s second pot matches the colours of her kitchen rug and this ridged shape is so good.


It was a real pleasure to teach this group and thanks for the flowers Kay, they’re just beginning to bloom and make me smile each time I see them.

Blue vase

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I haven’t managed a lot of felt making recently but here is one I have managed to finish. The fibre is Blue Faced Leicester in a mix of  blue and turquoise with a little purple added. The turquoise I hand dyed earlier in the year. I’ve included crystal organza, silk chiffon and parts of an old damaged silk cushion into the felt to give texture and shine.

Also added is blue and purple roving, blue yarn plus turquoise, copper and blue silk fibres. I like the feeling of movement that all these additions give the vase. As before, I have used a glass liner so that I can use this for fresh flowers if required. Given the shape, the liner cannot be removed but you can get your hand in for cleaning.

The height is 29cms. If you look carefully you can see the tip of a cat tail. Have you ever tried keeping four hungry cats at bay whilst you take a quick photo?