Experimental

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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

 

Pots

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.

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

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Nicki’s little pot was delightful.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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

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.

Little blue pot

At my last workshop I began a little pot as part of my demonstration on how to pull and lay out fibres. I’ve now finished it – I think! I seem to be going through a phase of not being totally happy with my items and yet not knowing what it is I want to change, perhaps if I live with it for a while first. Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think.

I quite liked it this way with the top rolled down but it wasn’t fully felted and was a little too organic for me although now I’m not so sure.

Very plain but I liked the fullness of the shape however, I decided to keep going.

Less plain with this shaping around the neck but I just couldn’t leave it alone!

So this is what I’ve got now. it has some shaping around the neck and is encircled by 8 smaller holes. Still not sure about it. It’s getting smaller all the time and is very nearly at the point of no return but I could just reshape the neck if I wanted. Opinions? Looking at these pictures now I wish I’d gone with the rolled over neck!

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.