Kapok Fibre

I bought a new fibre to try out a couple of weeks ago, Kapok fibre. Like cotton, it grows around the seed of the plant, but is much lighter and softer. As much as I like fibre tops, I do like the shorter staple fibres, especially with coarser wools for the way they interact with the wool and produce more ‘natural’ looking effects. They often seem to mimic things you find in nature such as cobwebs, fungus or mould, which look solid but are really soft or fluffy when you look closer. This first panel is natural white 23 Micron Merino. I took a ‘piece’ of the kapok fibres and teased it apart, sames as you would silk noil, and laid it across the wool. It’s hard to see the Kapok at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know a lot of people don’t like curly or coarser wools for felting, especially if they mainly make felt paintings or want a brightly coloured, smooth, firm felt. But I’m the type of person who loves textures and shades and tones as much as colour, and love rocks and tree barks just as much as flowers or minerals.  So, if you’re like me, you might like thse next couple of pieces which I made using Shetland and Finnish wools. For this first one, I used grey Shetland tops and added fluffed up, teased apart Kapok fibre:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like the effect the thinner parts of fibre produces:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the areas where the fibre was denser:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made the Finnish piece double sided. I first put some teased apart Kapok fibre on my template, then added the brown Finnish tops. I added a layer of black Finnish tops, then blended some Kapok fibre with black Finnish noil and added that. I added some Kapok fibre on its own in a few spaces and blended a small amount of Kapok With black Finnish top and added that too. This is the brown side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up 1:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the denser areas:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the black Finnish side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up of a dense fibre part:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of the Fibre blended with the wool:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you have a favourite coarse of curly wool? What do you use it for? Do you have a favourite embellishment fibre? You’re welcome to link us to any pics or come and post about it on the forum.

Posted in natural wools, Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Around the Web Spinning Felting and Dyeing

Good morning Folks I am afraid I am still  tired form the week end at Fibrefest in Almonte so I will give you some interesting things to go  have a look at.

spinning around the web

http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/zebisisdesigns?section_id=5560028

http://www.woolmakers.com/shop-2/

http://rosemaryknits.blogspot.ca/2009/02/pseudo-rolags.html

http://gourmetstash.com/what-are-punis

felting around the web 4

http://feltmakersnorth.blogspot.ca/2014/04/felting-fever.html

http://livingfelt.com/blog/?p=6171

http://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/115335761/glow-in-the-dark-spinning-fiber-blending?ref=shop_home_active

http://www.soulfibrestudio.blogspot.ca/

dyeing around the web

The other link was no longer working so here is a different one that looks good

http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/05/shibori-dyeing-indigo/

 

 

Posted in Felting Around the Web, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

I have been traveling for the last couple of weeks so I haven’t had much time to do any fiber activities. But I always take my sketchbook and can fill the waiting time with sketching. Here’s a little peek.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week we are delivering my umbrella tree to the La Conner Quilt and Textile show. The tree was accepted into the 3D fiber art category so if you are in the La Conner area and are going to the show, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Symphony

Here is Symphony making herself at home in the hotel :)

Posted in Sketch Book | Tagged | 17 Comments

Monet Challenge

I’ve always been a fan of Monet.  I don’t think there are too many of his works I don’t like, but I particularly like his irises, bridges, weeping willows and water lilies.  But I decided for this challenge I would step out of my comfort zone and try something different. So, I chose his “The Seine Near Vetheuil – Stormy Weather” for my challenge.

The-Seine-Near-Vetheuil--Stormy-Weather

Since I have a new drum carder, I decided to make a batt for the base from the domestic 56s I have. I used merino, pieces of unknown wool batts I had purchased to paint the picture and some mulberry silk and throwsters waste for accents. It was harder than I thought to simulate the brush strokes and capture the color subtleties and layers in this piece.  I could have stopped here and put it under glass, but I kept going.

before felting

When it dried I noticed the coarser domestic 56 wool had migrated thru and made the piece very hairy.  It definitely needed a good shave. I wondered if I had wet felted the base first if I would have had as much migration.  Next time I’ll try that.

before shaving

After shaving it, particularly in the darker areas, I felt it still needed something.

after shaving

So, I put it on the floor and looked at it for awhile to decide where I could needle felt some of the areas to give it more definition.  I added some wool to some of the tree lines and needled around others.

Seine final

Since its my impression of this work, I’m satisfied with the outcome.  There are a few places I would have done things differently when laying out, but they weren’t obvious during that stage as they were after the felting.

Have you found your Monet challenge yet?

 

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

A Bit Of Colour

I thought I’d do some colourful pieces this week. The last time I ordered from World of Wool, I got some dyed Shetland wool tops, and some dyed 18.5 mic Merino. I used the dyed Shetland tops for this first piece, and a variety of cellulose fibres that I dyed a while ago, using rosiepink’s tutorial. I think I used Bamboo, Banana, Ramie, Flax, Hemp and Viscose, and there are a few wisps of soybean top too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t add the fibres in any particular way, just lay the tops out and added more until the spaces were filled in. Overlapping in some places.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like this close up, I like the way the fibres appear to be just sitting on top of the wool, which my girlfriend thinks looks like grass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to try out some of the 18.5 mic merino, and some crimped nylon before I made a large scarf. I won’t be using these colours together, but thought it would help to see them better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe way the thinner areas of fibre contour the ripples of the felt reminds me of felting with those stringy produce bags that oranges and onions often come in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought this was an unusual contrast, the denser matte nylon around the shiny Merino gives the Merino a synthetic look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up of some of the crimped fibre:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really liked the way this turned out, I even like the two colours together :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Monet Inspiered Peice for the 3rd Quarter Challange

I used the park scenes and the water lilies as inspiration. I had some wool that was just right for making a Monet piece.  It was  “grey” Romney wool I got years ago. It was washed but not carded. In actuality it was brown and white. That was ok I dyed it and carded it and got Monet wool. Each colour had varying shades of the dye depending on how brown or white it had been. Most of this picture is done with that wool. the blue/green is some leftover bits that had been carded together and the path is a striped top that very dark blue with some red. I think it is from Ashland bay I think.  I used a piece of prefelt for the background just so I would have a size to work with.

This is before I wet it down. I really liked it and was tempted to try and put it under glass unfelted.

monet in wool

After wetting and rubbing I rolled it put to pop in the dryer. than went off and did other stuff. I got it out of the dryer this morning and it had come unrolled in the tumbling and came out looking like this.

out of the dryer

I did manage to stretch it all out flat and square. it is approximately 17 inches by 12 inches or 44cm by 31 cm. I quite like it but think I may do some embroidery to define things a little better. The pond is not that bright and  distinctive in reality. I was pleased with the way trees didn’t all melt into one green blob.

dry

 

 

Posted in Challenges, Design, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Third Quarter Challenge – Monet

When I started researching Monet for the challenge, I had already decided I didn’t really want to do anything with flowers. I had never seen his Parliament paintings but he did quite a few different ones in a variety of lighting. I thought looking at the same scene in different lighting and weather was interesting so I decided to use that as inspiration. I also wanted to try adding the color at the end with deconstructive screen printing.

Monet_-_The_Houses_of_Parliament,_Sunset

This is the original Monet that I used for inspiration.

Prefelt

I made a piece of prefelt out of two shades of blue. This is Merino that I had dyed quite a while ago with indigo.

Wool layout

I laid out a background of orange woolt. The background has four layers except under the prefelt where there are only two layers. I also decided that I wanted to use several different type of fiber for embellishments that would dye differently with acid dye. I got this idea from Teri’s blog a few weeks ago.

Finished Felting

Here is the piece after felting. The bottom portion has banana fiber and the top has silk noil. I was planning on covering the yellow moon area before screen printing but I completely forgot about it.

Dye in Silk Screen

Here is my screen that has two colors of dye drying on it. I used various “stuff” under the screen when applying the dye to get texture. Then came the hard part. I had no idea how this was going to turn out once I screened it on the felt. I decided to wet the felt with vinegar water and then screen to get a more diffuse look.

After Screen Printing

Here it is right after screening. Not too exciting right? But don’t give up hope :)

Banana Fiber

I steamed the piece for 30 minutes and then rinsed it out. Here you can see the banana fibers didn’t take the dye since they are plant-based. The turquoise blue is a bit of silk noil.

Silk Noil

And here’s a view of the silk noil a little closer on the top portion.

Finished Piece

And the final result of the piece. I really like how it turned out. The photo doesn’t do justice to the subtle color changes made by the various colors of dye applied through the silk screen. If I was trying this method again, I would try it on dry felt. The dye definitely spread and I would have liked to see more variations from the deconstructive screens. But all in all I am pleased. I plan on putting this one on a painted canvas. Now to decide what color that should be.

Have you tried your hand at the Monet challenge? We would love to see what you created!

 

 

Posted in Challenges | Tagged | 20 Comments