Today we have a Guest Post by Lyn from rosiepink.
Experimenting with felting is the best way to learn, and you learn just as much from things going wrong as you do from things going right.
After making ‘The Fingerpost‘ picture, shown below, I was full of enthusiasm for the ‘chopped up bits of felt look’ and I wondered if I could make a small decorative pod with it.
… then I arranged some of it onto one side of my circular resist. I had to use tweezers as the felt bits either stuck to my fingers or flew off to the other side of the table when I tried to place them – it was a painstakingly slow job and my eyes went a bit wobbly with the concentration.
…I realised at this point that I was going to have a white band running around the middle of my pod … unless I could perhaps pull the white fringe of merino wool from the other side v-e-r-y- snugly around to squish the layers together?
So I carried on to eventually complete the second side.
Aww – I thought it looked pretty – a bit like a plate of ‘dolly mixtures‘.
I had real nagging doubts about the success of the project but I knew that I would learn something from it so I carried on. As I started to wrap the white merino ‘fringe’ over one part of the edge, some bits fell off from another part. It was a struggle and it ended up looking like a bag of potatoes.
After I’d applied all the layers of wool, I had an embryo pod that was the thickness of a car tyre. There was no way I could roll it in a bamboo mat, so I listened to the radio while I rubbed… and rubbed… and rubbed until I thought it would be ok to remove the resist.
I cut a hole to remove the resist then turned the pod inside out to full it. As I did so, several colourful bits of felt flew off the pod – it looked like a boxer spitting out teeth – and lots more pieces were loose. It was unworkable.
I could see what I’d done wrong.
I should have fulled the pod a bit after removing the resist before attempting to turn it inside out. It might have been better too, considering the amount of shrinkage of a pod, if I hadn’t put the coloured bits on the resist so densely.
It’s frustrating when things go wrong but valuable lessons can be learned from the experience. I don’t give up on a piece easily, and I usually keep the felt to re-use, but this pod was definitely a lost cause and as there was nothing I considered salvageable for re-use, I consigned it to the felting box in the sky.