Little Projects

Thanks a lot to Marilyn for filling in for me the other day when I wasn’t well:)
It seems like I’ve got a lot of small or half finished projects on the go at the moment. I’ve been collecting glass beads to make a fulling board for the Well Being centre classes. I thought I finally had just enough to do one, so started on that, only to find I ran out of glue!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt still made a nice photo along the surface though:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne thing I did get finished was making some resists for vessels and pods out of the foam I got recently, you can tell which one I used for the bird pod last week:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI took them to the felting/fibre group yesterday and and we ended up with a round bowl, a wide bottomed vase with narrow neck, a bird pod, and a garden den for frogs which inspired the idea to make oven gloves! Here are the other resist shapes:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne thing I did finish a few weeks ago was a rough drop spindle to take to the group:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cut a little notch in the top:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe only had time for 2 members to have a quick go, but both made nice, even lengths of yarn and picked it up easily. The bits of wood I’ve used so far for making the whorls on my spindles have been some I got off ebay really cheaply, probably because they aren’t very even, so probably wheel rejects. I wanted to make some better spindles, so sent off for some properly made toy wheels:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course I couldn’t find the dowelling I bought years ago which I thought would fit perfectly, but after searching everywhere, I found it by accident when I was rearranging the room the other week. I haven’t fixed it properly, but I tried it for size:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI might get around to actually making it in a few more months:)

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Felting in Florida

My husband I recently went to Florida to visit our son and his family.  I usually try to bring some wool for my grandsons to play with.  We also babysat while our son and daughter-in-law took a weekend away for their anniversary.  It’s always good to keep the boys occupied indoors since it was unbearably hot and humid outside.

This time I thought it would be fun to do pictures.  So, I had them each draw a picture.

Here they are busy creating.  Luke, the six year old, drew dinosaurs.  Josh, the four year old, is into a game or video called Stickman, so Stickmen it was along with an emoji.

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I had brought some white prefelt for the background and colored prefelts for cutouts and a variety of colored roving for them to chose from.

Luke was able to cut most of the big shapes himself, but I helped on the smaller details.  As we worked, we discussed the best way to add each part of the picture. He had very definite ideas.  Since he had done felting before, he was able to do most of the rubbing and rolling himself.

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Josh also had very definite ideas on colors and shapes.  In his picture, we used mostly roving.  The eyes were too hard for him, so I did that.  He’s a very good supervisor giving detailed instructions on what colors and were to put everything.  He started the felting process, then lost interest. So, Grandma had to finish. By the way, those are bananas on the tree.  Evidently, Stickmen like bananas.

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Unfortunately, the vinyl tablecloth I used to protect the wood table began to leach color into the felt even though we used bubble wrap.  So, there are a few pink spots in the corners.  The boys didn’t seem to mind though.

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If they ever get a trampoline, I can see them using Zara’s method to felt a rug.  I know they’d enjoy that!

 

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

Nuno Felt Scarves and Some Yarn

I managed to get  couple more scarves done this week. I forgot to get shots of them before I wet them but here they are finished and drying. I lightened them so they are more the colour they will be when they are dry. I had to be fast taking the pictures, the breeze was blowing again and my son had to play interference with the turkeys who were too interested in what I was doing.

scarves

pink close green close

 

I started another with the last of the scarf blanks I dyed. I will have to dye some more. I need to add some purple to the inventory.

orange scarf start

The other thing I did this week was skein my hand spun yarn so I could get it washed. I want to sell it in small skeins for people to use as embellishments in wet felting.

Yarn washed and hanging

Scarves group 4 Scarves group 3 scarves group 2 Scarves group 1

I have to decide how much yarn to put in a small skein. I measured the yarn I put on the green scarf, The scarf starts out just shy of 8 ft. long. I was surprise how much yarn I used; 404 inches/ 33.66 feet/11.2 yards Or 1026.16cm/10.26 metres. So I think maybe 12yds/11meters in a skein. Some will be shorter because there isn’t 12 yard total but the length will be on each label. What do you think? Pricing it is the next problem.

 

Posted in Design, Nuno Felting, Scarves, Spinning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Composition and Design – Texture

Texture of Newspaper

On to the next element of design, texture! I think that many of us that create fiber art do so because we love the textures that can be produced with fiber. But there is more to texture than just “wooliness”.

Textures range from the smoothest polished mirror to the roughest mountain range as seen from an airplane. The term is often misused to refer only to rough surfaces but this is not correct. All surfaces have texture. You as a designer recognize that different textures can affect interest in different ways. Some surfaces are inviting and some are repellent and so are the textures that suggest those surfaces. Using different textures can increase interest in a composition by adding variety without changing color or value relationships.

Visual texture refers to the illusion of the surface’s texture. It is what tactile texture looks like (on a 2D surface). The textures you see in a photograph are visual textures. No matter how rough objects in the photograph look, the surface of the photograph is smooth and flat. Most textures have a naturalistic quality; they repeat a motif in a random way. A motif is any recurring thematic element or repeated figure in design. It could be an object, shape, color, direction, etc. With a texture you may be aware of the repeating motif but you are more aware of the surface.

Felted Gotland Locks

Tactile means touch. Tactile texture is the actual (3D) feel of a surface. This is of paramount importance to three-dimensional design but of only moderate interest in two-dimensional design. The actual surface texture needs to either be felt, or seen with light raking across its surface to make the texture visible.

A recognizable motif regularly repeated produces a pattern. Pattern requires repetition — in design as in life (a pattern of behavior). The more regular the repetition, the stronger the pattern will be. The most noticeable patterns occur when you see the group before the individuals — notice the organization first (the checker board). All of the motifs in a pattern have surfaces, so there is always texture. But there is not always pattern — only when you notice it. Texture and pattern are related. When you look closely at a tree you can see the pattern of leaves that make its surface. When you back away you lose awareness of the leaves and notice the texture the leaves make on the tree. Farther away still and you can see the pattern of the trees making up the forest and finally the texture of the forest. In this way pattern changes to texture as you lose sight of the individual motifs. This is easy to do with natural patterns, but you have to get quite far away from a checker board grid to see it as texture. Patterns are generally more noticeable than textures. This makes them a stronger visual element for controlling attention.

Iris Vase

How could you use tactile texture to enhance the composition? Visual texture?

If you switch to black and white, how different do the various textures look?

How can you use tactile associations to communicate with the viewer of your work? How many memories can you remember of touch such as warmth, softness, bristly etc.?

How do different types of fibers or fabrics affect your composition? Do different textures of fiber or fabric make you relate to the work in a different manner?

Can you create depth using a visually patterned felt? Motion? Focal point?

How can you depict different textures from your home environment?

What methods do you use that increase texture in your work? Can you think of other methods that would increase the tactile or visual textures in your work?

Posted in Design | 13 Comments

Felting a Rug on a Trampoline

Our guest author/artist is Tuulikki Zara Rooke.

Last winter, I buried a couple of raw fleeces in the snow, and let the snow melt “wash” them. Well, it´s not the most thorough way of washing fleeces, but they were slightly whiter in colour, and smelled a little less sheepy when they thawed out in the spring. I have now used two of these fleeces to make a rug, with the assistance of my kids, on a trampoline.

Carding this amount of wool would take quite some time, so I decided to try just whipping the wool instead. As it was slightly windy, and the wool tends to fly around when you do this, I decided to do it on our trampoline, which has a security net around it. Very practical indeed. Beating the wool with sticks is a rather fun way to separate the fibres and, being on a trampoline, it was impossible to resist jumping around in the wool, too.

Photo 1

Now that we had all this wool on the trampoline, I figured we may as well try felting on the trampoline too. We laid out the wool on an old sheet, added a thin layer of carded wool on top, and finally raw locks in different natural colours. We wet it all down with hot water and soap, rolled it up, and then the girls and I (ok, mostly the girls, but I did join in for a bit) bounced around on the trampoline until we ran out of energy.

Photo 2

The next day, we added more hot water and soap and did a bit of rubbing and rolling. Then we rolled it out of the sheet and I let the girls bounce on the rug. An interesting and quite effective way to full a piece of this size.

Photo 3

Apart from being fun, and giving us quite a lot of exercise, there is a practical advantage to felting on a trampoline. All the excess water drains through the woven trampoline, which makes it easy to just keep adding more hot water during the felting process, and to get rid of excess water after rinsing the rug thoroughly with the garden hose.

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A rug made with wool equivalent to about three fleeces can hold a lot of water. It took three days to dry. After that, I could add the final embellishments – swirls of black yarn that I needle-felted on the white centre.

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It´s a thick and sturdy rug, measuring 115 cm (3.7′) across. It will probably stand for a lot of wear too, as it survived the rather harsh treatment on the trampoline.

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Zara, thanks for sharing your family’s adventure with felt on a trampoline this summer.  It sure looked like fun with a beautiful result!

 

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Pods and Cords

I’ve mentioned we’ve been exploring resists at the Well Being centre recently, and one of the group said she’d really like to make a round vessel, so I thought we’d follow rosiepink’s vessel tutorial. It turned out there was only 2 of us there early enough to have a go, so we’re doing it again this week, but this is mine:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the other side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been looking for ‘smoothing tools’ for vessels for years, like Lyn’s suggestions of a baby’s rattle or laundry liquid dispenser, I keep checking the baby section, and dog toy section, even the kitchen section for a ladel, but still haven’t found one! I did buy some foam for resists though and I thought I’d try it out and make a new birdpod. I remembered those coconut ones, and tried to do a similar shape. I didn’t get it quite right, but using lots of coarse wools did give it a hairy coconut look, though:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI need to make a cord for it to hang it up. Usually, I make cords from offcuts or make some handspun yarn and felt that, but I had an idea for some garden ornaments and thought I’d give it a go using a bamboo mat. I can’t remember which wool I used, I think it was something from Wollknoll labelled just ‘Scottish grey’. I had a hard time getting photos of all my things, it went too dark yesterday, so this morning I took them into the garden and tried them in a few places, when I put the first cord down on the paving stones it camouflaged itself, even the pattern seems to match!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat was just the test piece for the idea I wanted to try. The only trouble was, I needed a larger mat than a placemat. I looked at my living room blinds, just hanging there with a huge roll of unused bamboo sat at the bottom. I unrolled it and there must have been two feet of spare blind, so a few snips and a few tied ends later, I had a shorter window blind and a new rolling mat! This cord hasn’t completely dried yet, but I know I need to make the next one a bit thinner, and I think that will help it be firmer too, but it turned out a lot better than I expected:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs usual, whenever I’m in the garden, I had a visitor, noseying from the background, poor little thing has no feet😦

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Posted in 3D, resists, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Hat and Some More Nuno Scarves Finished

This week I finished the hat I showed you just started last time and of course the matching scarf is now dry. I really like how the way the texture of the scrunched up silk pieces  turned out.

hat and scarf

You will have to forgive my pictures as I was taking them quickly because I was cuddling my granddaughter while my daughter was getting her brother to bed and forgot it was my turn to post

I used some of the dyed silk I showed you last time to make some scarves this week. I did the orange one with silk scrunched up on it as well and some yarns meandering over everything.

orange scarf 2 orange scarf

The next 2 are still wet. I finished them last night, just before writing this. I tried to lighten them up so you get a better idea of what they are like.

green scarf blue scarf

I seem to be in a sparkly mood. Everything has a synthetic sparkly yarn on it. I hope other people will like them too. I am going to have to do a proper inventory to see what I need for the fall shows.

 

Posted in Felted Hats, Nuno Felting | Tagged , , | 12 Comments