Recent Work

Recent Work

I mentioned recently that I’m doing a Craft Fair soon. It’s this coming Sunday at Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road in Manchester. They also do guided tours that day, so if you’re interested, have a look at their website.
In my post last time, I showed a faintly plaid felt piece which I’d started to make into a diary cover. Here is the finished cover:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also mentioned a piece of silk I got for £3 a metre. I did manage to use it on a felt piece, but I haven’t made it into a cover yet. It looked a bit nicer and brighter just before the final fulling, but I wanted to make sure it would stand up to years of handling:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know if you remember a couple of pictures I posted as part of the Jackson Pollock challenge from a bag I was working on, well, I never did get around to finishing the bag, and when I saw it recently, I thought I could cut it up and turn it into a nice sturdy diary cover. So, I did 🙂  This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, this is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI always forget just how long it takes to do these covers! Also, because I didn’t have any coloured threads which I thought would be just right, I ‘blended’ my own. I took a strand each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet embroidery floss and made a 6 strand rainbow. I had to do that for each part I stitched, and I was starting to regret it by the end 🙂

One of the things I wondered after the last fair was whether it was obvious that my stuff was actually handmade felt made from real wool. A lot of my stuff is well felted or nuno felt, so to anyone who doesn’t know felt, it could just be commercial fabric I’ve bought. So I thought I would make some obviously wool natural pieces for book covers. They are made from lots of different breeds of wool and embellished with locks, some mohair boucle from Marilyn, some silk noil, and viscose and bamboo. This one has the most added embellishments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did actually use the same size template for these pieces, but with all the different wools and embellishments there was different shrinkage. For this piece, I tried to stick to wools which were more similar: Merino, Bluefaced Leicester, Finn and Corriedale, and there are less embellishments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf I get chance before the fair, I’ll upload the finished covers to ipernity or the forum.

15 thoughts on “Recent Work

  1. Firstly, I’m still jealous about that piece of silk.
    It’s made beautiful nuno felt! The texture is scrummy and it’s just ‘melted’ into the wool. Having different wool colours under has really enhanced the silk colours.
    Good luck with the fair – have a little sign to remind people that your diaries make good Christmas presis.
    I think the faintly plaid and the Pollack covers will catch someone’s eye – the colours are great and the Pollack has such depth to it (the little piece under the buckle is 3D).
    It takes dedication to blend embroidery threads, but the result is worthwhile.
    The last two pieces are beautiful.

    When Annie and I did craft fairs we worried that people wouldn’t realise how the items were made, so we got an A4 plastic display stand (like an upside down ‘T’ shape that you slot a piece of A4 paper into, to stand it on a table) and we typed a bit of info and used 3 photos – people did stop to read it.

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      I did actually have postcards last time explaining felt, and after the last one and from suggestions on the forum, I thought I’d do little cards for each of the ‘sections’ for this fair, saying what the items are , that they are handmade wool felt/nuno felt and ideas for what they can be used for. I wish I had more time and space on the stall for more info and samples. I’ll remember your idea for next time, though, thanks 🙂

  2. Zed, I agree with Lyn. All the covers are beautiful and have a nice autumn feel. But the silk piece is stunning. The first natural piece reminds me of a cloudy day in a wooded area after the leaves have fallen kind of mysterious but pretty. I think you have a nice variety to bring to the show. Even if you don’t make the last few into covers before then, I’d bring them along. Someone may want to make a wall hanging or frame a piece. It’s also interesting for people to see the before and after. Good luck at the fair!

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I’ve already cut the natural pieces, and did get 2 covers made, so I might finish them all in time 🙂 The silk piece might stay intact though, I’ll have to see, I do have quite a few pieces uncut to take with me for hangings or table mats.

  3. All very beautiful pieces, but I particularly like the last two made of natural wool colours. Good luck with the fair, Zed.

  4. The notebook covers are beautiful and I hope that you have great success at the fair. Lyn has some really good suggestions about ways to show people how much work goes into a piece. The more signage the better I find here at the store. Many people don’t want to ask but they will read about it and be encouraged to buy. I hope you’ll take photos of the fair and show us your set up.

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      I’m hoping to get there earlier this year and have a good wander round and more time for photos (and buying!)

  5. Great book covers and I tool love the silk piece. If you have a little roving with you that you can show people how it starts. It doesn’t need to be on the table but so you can grab it and explain. people love to see a bit of fluff or curls. I hope you have a good show.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      I do have roving on my list to take with me 🙂
      I thought I’d take something natural and maybe a small blended batt too.

  6. Good luck for the show, Zed! That notebook came out really pretty, and I’m sure all the extra work was well worth it. I’ve noticed in the comments section that you’ve received quite a few different types of suggestions in regards of the “handmade explanation,” so here’s another one: how about experimenting with different ways to explain it, and see which one works the best? That way you can narrow things down, not overload people with information, and teach them something new about felting and what you do 🙂

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      I should have started preparing for the fair earlier, but the 2015 diaries weren’t even in the shops until a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to add the suggestions to my list of ‘craft fair’ ideas, and start working on them earlier next time!

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