Vessel workshop

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

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.


First chance I’ve had to show you what people made at last weeks workshop. Fisrt up, a magnificent specimen by Tracey. This was the largest pot made on the day and the colours were wonderful and really sang in the sun. The crystal organze used twinkled in the sun too.


This little pot is actually the second piece of felt ever made by Abi. I liked the warm colours together and the fabric used for decoration was a heavy woollen one which worked well.


Anne made this monochrome pot with her daughter in mind and used a couple of different synthetic fabrics which gave the larger textures she was looking for. This too twinkled in the sun.


Below is the first ever piece of felt made by Abi. In the words of Bruce Forsyth “Didn’t she do well”. A great colour combination.


Anne also made two pots but instead of hand modelling the shape as with all the others, this is formed around a small vase and so can actually be used for fresh flowers.


I’ve been promised a better photo when it dries.  Here’s a group shot to leave you with.


All together now – Didn’t they do well!


Nuno vases

Just one space left on the nuno vase workshop next Friday 10th October here in my home studio in Ilkley. You will learn how to make 3D vases around a shape and free forming by hand whilst incorporating fabrics such as silk, cotton, scrim and synthetics.



For more information and to book take a look at my workshop page.


It’s great fun learning to incorporate fabrics into felt and each fabric gives a different texture. The fabrics themselves are changed by the wool that you put with them. Explore this technique and learn 3D felting making in one go. A fun day with like minded people.


I was really looking forward to the nuno vase workshop this week. It was fully booked with 4 people due to turn up then one had to drop out meaning there’d be only 3. Never mind, I readvertised it and within a couple of hours was back up to 4 again. Then the night before I had an email to say that migraine (hideous things that they are) would be keeping one person away so we were back to 3.

On the morning of the class someone else had car trouble so now we were only 2. At ten past ten I thought it was going to be just me and Fran but, after a rather slow and painful journey, Ruth joined us. It was at this point that I realised my trip to the supermarket to buy milk had been entirely wasted as it was the one thing I’d returned without!  Thank goodness for a very obliging husband who procured the necessary for us.

We were experimenting with fabrics felted into wool but in 3D form. The first pot/vase below is from Fran and was formed around a jam jar.


I love using jam jars, bottles or old vases to form the shape as it means I have the opportunity when it’s finished to actually use the vase for flowers. Fran’s colour choice was absolutely lovely and I especially wanted to show you this side of the pot where you can see how the red ribbon has formed a zig zag during felting.  The bright pink dashes are from a white crystal organza fabric that had various coloured dashes on it. As the white fabric is against white wool it’s mainly the pink dashes that stand out. There were quite a few pieces of organza on this pot some of which overkapped and meant it shone beautifully in the sun.


Here’s the other side of the pot. You can see the white fabric quite clearly against the red wool but the ribbon blends in far more this time.


This richly coloured pot is by Ruth, her first ever 3D piece by the way. There are variegated rovings, nepps and parts of an old scarf. When felting it’s not unusual for something to not go, or turn out as you expected. This time it was the fabric used, one thread in the scarf lost colour during felting which meant lots of dirty looking water about and slightly stained hands for Ruth. Fortuntaley it hasn’t  affected the final glorious vase.


Whilst we were at it we thought we might as well use a bit of decoration on the inside too. Ruth used more scarf and roving  and Fran choose to experiment with cotton muslin on the inside of hers. This extremely cheerful pot below has been free formed by Fran who, I believe, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


Multi coloured roving and parts of a different old scarf. The yellow wool really makes the other colours sing. One of the learning experiences for the day was how different fabrics give different textures and how different coloured wools affect the colour of the fabric during felting. Ruth brought an old vase to re-cover for her second piece and we painstakingly made a resist and Ruth blended up some pretty greens with the carders. Due to the falability of the tutor, yours truly, an error was made with the resist and the experiment didn’t work. Ruth was very generous spirited about it and we had a good laugh but not before I’d had a slight sense of humour failure. Thank you Ruth and Fran for making me laugh at ‘Rabbit ears’.





These are the photos from the 3D workshop last week. When I went to extract the photos from the camera the memory card had gone walkabout but I finally tracked it down this morning.

The two above were made by Katherine and I love the little orange mushroom pot. The white spots were created by adding wool nepps.

These two were made by Judith. The round pot has a bright red interior which you can see has started to migrate through to the outside. Somehow, these colours give it a Japanese feel for me.

As you can see, the nepps were popular with everyone and these two delightful items were made by Jeni. The box works very well I think. Below is one I made whilst demonstrating.

Blue vase

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?

Little brown pot

I’m on a roll!!!!!  More felt made that I like oh so much it’ll be hard to part with it. In this pot I’ve used grey Jacob fibres on the inside and black Jacob on the outside. Yes I know it looks dark brown, it is dark brown but in the sheep world black sheep are usually actually a very dark brown and not a true black.

Jacob is a British wool fibre that takes longer to felt than Merino but it has a lovely texture and the natural dark brown colour is lush. The sheep themselves are mottled white, brown, black.

I adore the shape of this pot and have to admit to sitting cuddling it this morning. You may have noticed  that it has a glass inner. I prefer to model my felt around glass or ceramic vases, not because it gives a defined shape but because I can’t bear to make vases that can’t be used. This way I can recycle pots and vases which have passed their best and upcycle them into a new usable art item.

Aren’t the coloured curls gorgeous? They’re Blue Faced leicester. Most people are familiar with Wensleydale or Teeswater curls which are much larger and longer but most have never used BFL fleece. These have been hand dyed and I think they give fantastic texture without stealing the show as the bigger curls are wont to do.

Too good not to show them twice!  I’ve heard rumours of these being available at a local supplier soon and will let you know if this happens, I highly recommend giving them a go. What’s more, they still have a lustre to them.

Felt for your home workshop

It was a exceptionally warm and sunny day last Thursday which meant we managed to get out and eat our lunch in the churchyard. A pleasant change indeed.

We had a variety of items being made all of which can be used in the home. These first two are table runners. the first inspired by the bark of a silver birch tree and the second by a black and white cat in the hope the hairs won’t be noticed on this one!

This second set comprise; a wallhanging, table mat and tea cosy. You can just imagine the smile the tea cosy would bring to your face at breakfast it’s so sunny.

These last ones are obviously vases, the first set hand modelled and the second modelled around a beaker giving them a crisper outline. Really lovely colours used on these.

Margaret was also kind enough to give the following feedback “thank you for a great workshop yesterday. I really enjoyed myself!! My runner will look really handsome on the dresser (once I declutter it of course!) ” Well done all.