A quick catch up on the past week’s workshops which included wall hangings and vessels…..
Wednesday saw me driving back down to Podehole for the second session of my Wet Felted Wall Hanging workshop with the Spalding Embroiderers. Last month the ladies created their wet felted backgrounds and added some needle felted flowers. This week they concentrated on embellishing their work with hand stitching…..unfortunately they are not permitted to use their sewing machines in this particular hall which is something I’ve never come across before!
One or two of the ladies had done some homework since we last met and added free machine stitching. This is just a small sample of the wonderful work being produced…..
Once again it was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic bunch of ladies and as you can see from the photos the standard of work is terrific! I’m already looking forward to my return visit in September when we will be experimenting with Lutradur and Tyvek to produce a forest floor themed 3D picture.
In the studio this week I had a visit from Annie and Marisa. Neither of these ladies had ever felted around a resist before but both were keen to have a go. They certainly rose to the challenge and produced two wonderful wet felted Merino bowls with multicoloured necks and embellished surfaces……
On Saturday I was given even more of a challenge when Sue, with daughters Adele and Sharon, visited the studio. They had said they wanted to make 3D vessels but made it very clear from the outset that they weren’t prepared to settle for something straight forward or easy. They were only interested in making complex 3D shapes, the sort that require a book resist or differential shrinkage. When you consider that none of these ladies had ever done Wet Felting, either 2D or 3D, prior to this visit what they achieved in 6 hours was pretty amazing!
Today I was back at the Simply Stitch studio in East Keswick to deliver a wet felting workshop for owner Nicola Hulme and ten ladies who were there to make their version of my Irit Dulman inspired Bergschaf Clutch Bag.
Mottled Irit Dulman inspired clutch bag
Two-tone Irit Dulman inspired clutch bag.
For at least two of the ladies this would be their first introduction to Felting around a resist.
I know that if I chose the colours and put together specific kits and made students follow my instructions to the letter we would all be done in the time allowed and be taking home a finished item………..but I can’t do that! The last thing I want is for everyone to take home the same item!
When I deliver a workshop I like to encourage students to make the piece their own and this means allowing time to think, discuss options and take risks…..this morning was no exception!
As a result the ladies have all worked flat-out and produced a bag which is unique to them. They are almost but not quite finished. When I get photos of the completed work I will post an update.
Thanks to Nicola for hosting the workshop and keeping us all in coffee and biscuits and to all the ladies who took part….including Janet who managed to run away and hide when I took the final photo! Hope to see you all again.
Yesterday I was teaching in Risley, just outside of Derby, working with a creative group of ladies called “Material Girls”. They had invited me over to spend the day with them experimenting with Nuno Felting.
The ladies all brought a selection of lightweight fabrics ranging from pure silk, viscose and muslin through to polyester and netting as well as Merino fibres. The idea was for this to be an experimental session making samples which could later be stitched and framed, making a unique piece of textile art.
The results were absolutely stunning! Depending on the choice of fabrics this process can be very time and labour intensive and therefore I was a little concerned as to the staying power of my group! I needn’t have worried….there was a lot of coffee, biscuits, laughter and determination to keep us going and the results really paid off.
Once their work was finished the ladies used picture mounts to select certain area which appealed to them for stitching. Non of this fabric will get wasted as even small off cuts can be used for making brooches or used in card making, mixed media work, etc…..
Once again, it was a pleasure to work with a group of like minded ladies and be able to share my enthusiasm and passion for Feltmaking and Textiles. Many thanks to Viv and Jenny for arranging my visit and helping to make the day a success. I look forward to seeing you all again sometime.
Last week I did a one-one Workshop for Alison who wanted to learn how to make a wet felted fish. This wasn’t to be any old fish, Alison made it quite clear that she was on a mission to create a Wrasse as part of a local community project. I’d never heard of a Wrasse so immediately turned to Google to see what it was we were aiming for. I discovered that there are over six hundred species of this fish with two being native to the British Isles, the Ballan Wrasse and it’s more colourful cousin, the Cuckoo Wrasse.
We decided to work with a combination of Bergschaf and Merino fibres. This was the first time Alison has Felted around a resist but she took to it like a fish to water (I had to get that in somewhere!)
This is how he looked once Alison had got him home and dried out, prior to embellishing…..
…..and this is the finished Wrasse complete with hand embroidery and an impressive set of dentures! Isn’t he handsome! Well done Alison, can’t wait to see what you make next!
Today saw me driving down to Colemans Craft Warehouse in Rushden, Northamptonshire to deliver a beginners workshop in Wet Felting. Colemans is a large out of town, retail outlet crammed with all manner of crafting equipment and materials including card making, stamping, fabrics, Felting, beading, knitting, etc. There is a cafe area on the ground floor while the spacious, well lit workshop area is on the mezzanine above the sales floor.
There were nine ladies taking part in the workshop and for all of them this would be their first introduction to Wet Felting. We began by discussing the basics of creating a piece of flat felt and everyone made an abstract sample using Merino fibres and adding snippets of yarn, fabric and silks.
Above are the pieces prior to Felting (apologies for the one that’s missing) and below are the pieces after Felting.
After lunch the ladies were given a choice. They could either make a picture, using the skills they had learnt earlier, or they could learn another laying out technique and make a flower. It was quite spooky how one side of the table chose the picture while the other side chose the flower…..I hadn’t realised the split until I looked at this photo!
The results were wonderful…..
The ladies all said how much they had enjoyed the day and all of them are keen to do more Wet Felting which is terrific to hear. Colemans have invited me back to do another Wet Felting workshop for them on Saturday 14th April so I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones too. Next time we will be creating felted landscapes and learning how to incorporate pre felts in our work.
Many thanks to Jo and the staff at Colemans for making me welcome and to my enthusiastic students!
I’ve discovered an unexpected benefit of running local workshops……I’m discovering villages in Lincolnshire that I didn’t know existed! Today I was at Withern Village Hall, deep in the Lincolnshire Wolds for the first time ever, with seven ladies from the local textile and art groups.
The workshop was to be an introduction to Felting so we began by laying out our Merino fibres and fancy yarns and then wet felting our backgrounds.
After lunch we did some needle felting, adding detail to the work, and then the ladies chose to either machine or hand embroider to further embellish their pictures. I love the tiny bees on Kay’s picture!
There is still a little work left to do before all of the pieces are finished but I’m sure you will agree they are all looking great! Thanks for inviting me to Withern, and for being such an enthusiastic group! It was a very enjoyable day and I hope to see some of you again soon.
This is my latest “Ullapool/Ardmair” inspired piece. I wanted this textural necklace to capture the atmospheric beauty of the monochromatic grey days and the grey pebble beaches, punctuated by the yellow/green of the seaweed and the lichen on the rocks.
The necklace is made from grey, taupe and white Merino with just a hint of yellow added. It was embellished with Colonial knots made using Madeira metallic threads.
A quick post to show how Alison and Yvonne have got on with making their beautiful versions of my Yellow Poppies wet felted wall hanging today.
Alison was quite at home with the free machine stitching while for Yvonne it was her first attempt and she admitted that she had got on far better than she thought she would. Just the mention of free machining sends some folk into a state of panic but with a few basic pointers I find most people overcome the dread and start to enjoy it.
Both pieces are looking lovely but there is still some work to be done so I will post an update once the ladies have finished their pieces.
Green Merino scarf
This sculptural green Merino scarf was Commissioned by a lovely lady I met last October at The Big Textile Show. Kate bought one of my green wet felted clutch bags and decided she would like a scarf/collar to go with it…..I can’t wait to see how it looks on her!
Detail of green Merino scarf
A few months ago I came across a tutorial on making a Child’s Elf Hat. It was written in Russian but the photographs were self-explanatory and I’ve had it in mind to make one ever since seeing it, and here it is. If ever I get inspired by someone else’s work I will always credit them with a mention but unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t make a note of this persons website and I haven’t been able to find it since! If you happen to know where I might have seen this please let me know so I can add a credit.
In the tutorial the hat was made in a solid colour using a yellow or orange Merino. I wanted a mottled effect so decided to make the hat in white and colour it afterwards.
Normally you would colour wool using acid dyes but for this hat I experimented with a combination of Inktense and acrylic paint, both of which are colourfast once they have dried. I found that when the acrylic paint is sufficiently watered down it will not clog the wool and it retains its soft handle. The only area where I painted it on thickly was at the base of the top “tail”…..I wanted this to be stiffened and the paint certainly did the trick! The Inktense didn’t seem to affect the handle of the wool at all.
The two leaves and stalk were made from green Merino and copper coloured Tussah silk and stitched in place. I’ve started adding Colonial knots……I love Colonial knots so there could be a lot more of these added before I consider the hat finished!