Podfest

Last week, I traveled to Cathy (Luvswool’s) home to have a “podfest.”

Cathy wanted to try making a small vessel   So, since l have been making pods  on and off for months for family I offered to work with her using the method I use from Rosiepink’s Tutorial for Felt Pods http://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/tutorial-how-to-make-a-wet-felted-pod.html

I had selected fibers I had dyed from my 4 day dye experiment – Cheviot, merino, domestic 56 and brought some silk, throwsters waste, locks and hankies in a similar colorway. I also brought the tools I usually use for fulling for both of us to use and for Cathy to try to see which ones she favored. The soup ladle was the winner!

Cathy had some mystery fibers she wanted to try that she hadn’t used and used some of my embellishment stash.

Of course, we were anxious to get started and forgot to take a picture of the first side.  Here is our first turn.  Mine is the turquoise, Cathy’s is purple and gray.

marilyn side 2 Cathy flip side

Here is our final layer before wetting and embellishing.  We both used throwsters waste and silk.  I added some locks.

Cathy layers Marilyn final layer

Rinsed and ready to dry.

After rinsing

At that point, I packed up for my trip home and Cathy set her pod out to dry on a bamboo mat.

Cathy pod drying Cathy pod 2 drying

We were both happy with our pods after drying.  I could have used more curls, maybe next time.

final M pod final M 2 We had a great time and look forward to our next felting adventure!  What new felt technique have you tried?

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Fourth Quarter Challenge 2014

For this Quarter, I have chosen ‘Land Art‘. I was initially going to choose a specific artist for this challenge, but in the end I just couldn’t choose just one, the whole ‘movement’ is so inspiring. In case you haven’t heard of it, Land Art – according to Wikipedia ” is an art movement in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked. It is also an art form that is created in nature, using natural materials such as soil, rock (bed rock, boulders, stones), organic media (logs, branches, leaves), and water with introduced materials such as concrete, metal, asphalt, or mineral pigments. Sculptures are not placed in the landscape, rather, the landscape is the means of their creation.” (i.e, not Christo)

colleen proppeThere are so many inspirational artists, one I really like is Richard Shilling, a flickr search gives you lots of great photos, have a look at this link: https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=richard%20shilling  He has inspired others to create land art too, such as Colleen Proppe, who made the Leaf Flag in the photo above. Andy Goldsworthy is another name many people might recognise. Scott Robinson was inspired by him to make this Leaf art:

Scott Robinson
I discovered the work of Tom Hare while I was looking up land artists and sculptors, he does some gorgeous work. This is his website: http://www.tomhare.net/portfolio This is a photo of one of his willow sculptures, a Horse Chestnut breaking open, taken by Jodie Brodie:

Tom Hare
Have a search on google for Land Art and Land Art Artists, I can guarantee you’ll be inspired! Feel free to post your work on the forum in the 4th Quarter Challenge thread: http://feltandfiberstudio.proboards.com/thread/1788/fourth-quarter-challenge-land-art  Have fun!

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Mostly spinning

I have been doing some demos lately. It is much easier to demo spinning than wet felting.  This is at the the Richmond fair.

ann and jan gord and great wheel

Jan(sitting) and I as Jan makes a skein from her spinning. Gord spinning on the Great wheel.

Jan’s Husband was doing a blacksmith demo.

IMG_1875

He made us some great hooks for our wheels.

IMG_1887

On the second day this is what it looked like.

10704115_508976745913679_8191505856757232024_n

We gave up. we packed up early and went down to the sheep barn where our friend Mary who was doing a demo there.

mary in the sheep barn

We got to watch some of the seep show.

tunis sheep sheep

The red one is a Tunis sheep. I am not sure what the group is.

I must say that most of these pictures are Jan’s. I forgot to take many and they were not great.

Posted in Demo, Spinning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

More Caricatures in Stitch

I wrote a post about stitching some caricatures back at the beginning of June. The sketches are all done by my friend Nanci Williams.  We are still working out the details but the plans so far for these are to have an exhibition of work by different artists using Nanci’s sketches as inspirations and to make a book of all of the people. We are thinking of calling it “Whitefish Fashion Plates”. The two previous stitched people who I did were the same size as Nanci’s sketch. This time, I decided I wanted to enlarge them considerably. I chose a sketch that had four women pictured who were all dressed very much alike.

Pattern Enlarged

I copied the original sketch and then enlarged each person on my copy machine by 200%. I then taped them all back together again. I gave them names as well!

Choosing Fabric

I then hunted down fabric that would work for them. All of them were wearing pastel shirts, all had grey hair and wore a visor and carried similar handbags. I had a hard time finding pastel fabrics in my stash as I don’t seem to have a lot of these colors in solids. The skin tone fabric I had was dyed with tea.

Fabric Ironed and Ready to Fuse

Once I found all the fabric, I had to iron all the pieces so they would be flat and ready to put fusible web on to the back of the fabric.

Trace Pattern on to Fusible

I started with Becky Sue, the one on the right hand side of the sketch. When I traced the different body parts, I had to remember that the paper on the fusible web is on the back side so I had to turn the sketch over and trace from behind. That way when I fused the pattern on to the back of the fabric and cut it out, the figure would be facing the proper direction.

Iron Fusible to Backside of Fabric

I then ironed all my fusible web with the patterns on to the back of the fabric I had chosen.

Becky Sue

I cut them all out and here is Becky Sue ready to be fused down to the background. I haven’t chosen a background fabric yet. I only have one piece of fabric that is the correct size and it seems a bit too “tie-dyed” for a background. I have been just using fairly plain green backgrounds. All of the details will be added with stitching once all of the figures have been fused to the background.

What Color Stripes?

All of the ladies shirts were plain except for Becky Sue. Her shirt is supposed to be striped. I didn’t have any striped fabric so I decided I would add stripes with a permanent marker. I made a sample piece to see which color stripes I like. Which color stripes do you prefer?

Deb's Mosaic People

These mosaic people are by my friend Deb Stika. This isn’t a very good photo but these are approximately 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall and all done in mosaics. The resemblance to Nanci’s sketches are amazing. These will be included in the future show and book too. I will keep you posted on my progress on the four ladies.

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , | 17 Comments

A Day in the Life of a Fiber Mill

Last Friday, Cathy (Luvswool) and I took a lovely drive out to Belvidere, Illinois to tour the Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill.

Nestled in the midst of farmland, we were surprised to turn into a  homestead driveway. I guess we were expecting a huge factory, but it was a quaint store and small facility crammed with custom made machinery.  The idea for the mill started when Jane Zeien’s family purchased two ewes  for a 4 H project.  The family enjoyed working with the sheep and began raising Cheviot, Hampshire, Shetland and Cotswold sheep. They decided to expand their services to help promote the industry.

The Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill can handle everything from washing fiber, blending, picking, carding, pin drafting, custom dyeing, preparing batts and spinning.  All types of natural fiber are welcome  unwashed or washed.  And no order is too small and each fleece is processed individually.

Jane greeted us and led us into her workspace and into wool heaven.

We were surrounded by fleece waiting to be processed in a variety of  breeds and blends and piles of roving in a potpourri of colors and blends.

The picker has a big enclosed space behind it where the fleece piles up ready for the next step.

PickerThe carder dominated the center of the room.

front of carder carder back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batts can be made on the carder by changing out the parts on the back of this machine shown here making roving.

This is the pin drafting machine.

pin draftingDepending on the job finishing the wool can be done on the spinning machine, then the skeining machine.

Spinning Skeining machineWhen the tour was over we visited the shop where everything is related to sheep from skins to finished good by Pendleton and Woolrich along with handmade items, books, roving and yarn. If you want to learn more about the mill visit their website http://www.ilwoolfibermill.com/

Of course, we both bought some new wools to play with. One of my treasures was an English Merino wool batt.

Eng Merino batt

Here are Cathy’s new treasures –

Cathy treasures

 

Posted in Fiber Preparation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Texture

A while ago I bought a weird fluffy, knitted, tubular scarf from Poundland to try felting with. If you ever buy one, make sure you cut it over a bucket or newspaper or something to catch all the bits! I laid out a couple of layers of very wispy pink Merino tops left over from a book cover I made last year, then I added the piece of scarf, and 2 more wispy layers of wool tops. It didn’t take long to felt. This is one side of it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the other side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is what it looked like holding it up to the sky:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t remember how long after, but I decided the scarf sampler might make a nice sculptural piece similar to one I’d made before. I didn’t make it in exactly the same way, I concertina’d it and stitched in place, then twisted and felted and fulled more. This is the top:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up of the ridges:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASuper close up of the texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up of the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd a super close up of the texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, what do I do with the other 8 square feet of fluffy knitted stuff? :)

Posted in Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Raw Fleece Helmet

A little while ago I showed you  the prototype for a large felt helmet I was planning and the finished hat. http://wp.me/p1WEqk-2rU  now I thought I would show you some of  the process. There are lots of pictures.

I used a dog brush to fluff up the ends of the horns. I never manage to keep the ends dry. I taped the resist inside the horn to the hat resist and then added some brown wool under the white so it wouldn’t show so much inside.

attaching the horn attaching the horn 2

plastic wrapped horns I wrapped the horn in plastic again so it wouldn’t stick to the hat.

curls on

I added the wool for this side then did the same on the other side and added the raw unwashed Wensleydale fleece form a sheep named Wiki. It was important to use an unwashed flees so I could keep the curls and not have them all felted down. You can see the dirt running off when I got it wet. It took a lot of soapy water to get it wet.

 

dirty sheep horns after first roll

The horns were a not very white after the first rolling.

After washing all the dirt was gone.

hat dry hat dry horns

Even after fulling it was a big hat. I wanted to put it over a helmet but couldn’t find one so I put a hard hat harness inside so it is adjustable.

hard hat harnis

And here is me in my hat.

me in hat web

 

Posted in Design, natural wools, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments