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

If at first you don’t succeed…

Wet felted bowls

Collection of wet felted vessels made at Jenny Peppers “Multiple Resist” Workshop.

Last Saturday I rode back up north to the beautiful little village of Hutton Buscel to take part in another of Jenny Peppers felting workshops. Once again it was a lovely day with good company, excellent tuition from Jenny, and lots of hard work from the “students”, but with great results all round.
This was Jenny’s “Multiple Resist” workshop, in which she demonstrated how to create a bowl with the illusion of two smaller bowls inside it. As with Jenny’s last workshop, we all began with the same size and shape of resist for our vessel but you can see from the photos, the end results were all very unique, which was brilliant.

The first layer is cut away to reveal the colour below.

The piece has been rubbed and rolled and now the first layer is cut away to reveal the colour of the layer below.

One of the bowls taking shape.

One of the bowls taking shape.

I chose to use a subtle colour scheme of greys and yellows and added snippets of yellow knitting wool and cream silks as embellishment.

My bowl was looking more like a beret at this stage.

My bowl was looking more like a beret at this stage.

Some of the other ladies made fabulously colourful bowls and some added extra interest by shaping the openings rather than leaving them circular.

A beautiful bowl with an unusual shaped opening.

A beautiful bowl with an unusual shaped opening.

The following photos show what a difference the workshops with Robyn from Feltybits and Jenny have made to my work. One of the key things I have learnt about making vessels is the importance of basic rubbing and rolling to strengthen the felt. My first little bowl was so poorly felted it could hardly stand up on its own but I am glad it didn’t put me off. I am a big believer in “if at first you don’t succeed….”

First attempt at a wet felted bowl...it can only get better!

My first bowl…a bit fluffy and floppy and very poorly felted!

Blue Merino Bowl.

Wet felted Merino Bowl – 2nd attempt and feel like I am getting somewhere!

Wet felted bowl made with multiple resists.

My multiple resist bowl – worlds apart from the first, flimsy vessel!