Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 Days of Fabulous Felting

For 3 days last week 10 of us felters got together at Sharon's fantastic studio in Potomac to learn new ways to felt. We hired Lisa Klakulak from Ashville to teach us her mad felting skills. She's a very accomplished artist in the medium of felt and is a great teacher. We learned to manipulate the wet fiber like clay with absolutely amazing results. Above are most of us with our finished projects. We learned to make a vessel from a ball form and making a 3-D object from a 2-D form, which turned out to be our bag.
We worked from 10-12, broke for lunch for an hour, and continued for 4 more hours in the afternoon. The meals were all planned out ahead of time, with all of us taking turns at the lunches and everyone contributing to a superb Friday night meal, including lots of wine. The food was all vegetarian and we all made delicious dishes. There was way too much food, even though I did my best to make a huge dent.
I knew a couple of these women before I started with this group, but these few days were a true bonding experience. I even got invited by Christine (she's Scottish) to join her at her sister's croft in Dundee, Scotland next spring to help with lambing out 600 ewes.

In Sharon's studio, taking a laugh time out. Sharon has an incredible studio. Being a clothes designer, her space is filled with color, awesome print fabric, runway samples, and every conceivable sewing machine, felting machine and gadget to create her fantastic designs. She is so generous with sharing her studio too. She set up 5 tables for us, put plastic down on the floor and even hired an electrician to install 3 new lights so we could see better. Thanks Sharon!

Some of the supplies needed for felting.

And some of the fiber (roving from sheep's wool) we used.

Lisa showing us how to barely 'tickle' the fiber until it forms a skin. Then we can really start rockin and rollin, turning the fiber into something substantial.

Cutting a slit into the bag exposing the inside where there is a 'resist,' which is a piece of canvas so the two sides do not felt together.

Lisa explaining how to make a gusset in the bag.

This is my flat piece of wet felt that turned into........

this little bag. I still have to embellish it with some beads and a button. It still amazes me that
I can use the wool from my sheep and make something that I can wear or carry around. Thanks Sparkleberry!

Three of the finished bags, well not totally finished but at least the shape they'll be. All of us are extreme embellishers so it'll be interesting to see how they all turn out.

Lisa laying out the fibers in very thin layers. It's hard to get it this thin. She makes many, many layers of very thin layers because they stick together better that way and felt down tighter.

We covered a ball in layers of the wool roving then rolled on another layer.

and it looked like a big old hairy ball with a bald spot....on a cup.

We then used pantyhose (a much better use for them that what they are intended) to wrap the ball so the fiber wouldn't shift. Jeanne was so focused. I think she's done this before.

Tucking it in

Some us needed two people to conquer the wrap.

Then the fiber wrapped ball with the pantyhose tightly encasing it is placed in a bowl of hot soapy water and rubbed gently at first, then harder, and finally handled roughly. All this agitation makes the fibers stick together to form something resembling fabric. It's actually very strong and durable when dry.

This is my fuzzy ball of fluff. . . . .

. . . . that turned magically into this! Ta da!

Everyone's vessels turned out so different from the others.

We'll take what we learned to another level. The possibilities are endless.

1 comment:

Bev said...

Dalis, this is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. I also really enjoyed your recent visit to Marie's.