Weekend Workshop with Mandy Nash…..

My little group, Felt Inspired, have just played host to a wonderful wet felting weekend workshop with felt maker Mandy Nash.  The four “Inspired” regulars myself, Rosie, Dreda and Pat were joined by Jane, Enid, Joan, Helen, Sandra and Robyn (Feltybits).  As well as being an inspiring tutor, Mandy, who travelled up from Llantrisant, is Vice Chair, exhibitions officer and a regional co-ordinator of the International Feltmakers Association.

Mandy Nash

The morning began with Mandy showing the ten of us examples of her wonderful wet felted objects, including hats, bags, funky fish and vessels, mainly created using Bergschaf wool.

A small selection of Mandy’s work

Some of the ladies were keen to experiment with the “book” resist technique with five of them making vessels while  Robyn decided she would like to make a fish.

Sandra working with a book resist

Robyn’s fish & bowl, Rosie’s festival hat, Sandra’s coastline inspired vessel (centre) and Pats four-sided vessel (right)

The rest of us chose to make a hat using a flat resist and added embellishment.  In addition Mandy talked us through the various surface design techniques she uses and demonstrated how we could achieve these effects using Bergschaf wool batts.

Rosie working on her festival hat

Joan made a beautiful bowler hat with slash detail

Enid’s 3 sided two-tone grey vessel, Jane’s dark blue & Dreda’s light blue vessel.

Helen and I were both smitten with Mandy’s “fern” hat so chose to make that……


Helen’s “fern” hat

My fern hat

Many thanks to Mandy for an inspiring two days and thanks to all the ladies who participated.  If anyone would like to join our group we meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Belchford Village Hall.  For more information please use the contact form.

Wet felting with a book resist….

A few weeks back I read Ruth’s review on the Felting and Fibre Studio about the fascinating wet felted items that members had created using a “book resist”.  I’d never heard this term before but when I read the Book Resist Tutorial by Teri it all made sense and I realised how a lot of the 3D items I had seen previously in exhibitions and on-line had been made.  Wet felting with a book resist opens up new possibilities allowing you to create seamless complex shapes in one piece.
I was particularly interested in the amazing octopod.  I am planning to make an explorers outfit for the Asylum Steam Punk Festival in August and a felted octopus could be one of my accessories…..maybe draped over a shoulder or clinging to the skirt!

Unfortunately I got so carried away with the felting I forgot to photograph the resist before covering it.  It had to be cut to remove it but this shows you roughly how it looked.  It was made from 4 sheets of A4 acetate, cut into 8 sections and sewn together in the centre as a “book”.

resist made from A4 acetate sheets

Each section was covered in turn with three layers of varying shades of yellow Merino and gently rubbed.

covering the resist with Merino

prior to removing the resist

resisit removed and rolling complete

After removing the resist the octopod was rolled, rubbed and thrown around to finish the felting process.  The tentacles are now done but I will add a wet felted body later in the week to take him from octopod to octopus.

the finished octopod waitng for a body