Under Water Again

Under Water Again

I was really fascinated with Teri Berry’s book resist tutorial in January for the first Quarter Challenge. So, I decided to give it a try.


Since my mind has been under the sea lately, I doodled around and came up with a design that reminded me of coral.  I decided to have an odd number of pieces.


I inverted the copies so the arms would be facing in different directions.  I used an old shower curtain for the resist then sewed them together.


I soon discovered even though it was a heavy shower curtain it was challenging to get the fibers tight enough around the appendages.  The first layer was Romney which may have been a mistake because it is a long staple.

After I covered all the sides with the Romney, I covered each side with nepps because I wanted a bumpy texture.  Then the second layer were batts which combined natural hand dyed Domestic 56s with Madder that Cathy (Luvswool) had given me from her artist residency in Arkansas. https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2015/05/09/dyeing-with-plants/  I was a little short so I used some my own hand dyed orange Cheviot mixed in.

It was a large bundle so there was a lot of rubbing before I could do any rolling.

When I finally cut out the resist I had to use my finger to open up the appendages and rub and roll.  My fingers got a real workout!  Because the wool had expanded over the shower curtain resist I had to really work each “finger” to get them to shrink and not felt together.  But the resulting lumpiness was the look I was going for.

Here it is drying.


It was quite hairy so I had to shave it several times.  Here are the different sides.

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Here is a view from the top.


After a few more shaves, I decided it deserved a sea setting.


Thank you Teri for providing the tutorial and inspiration! And thanks to Cathy for the beautiful natural hand dyed wool!


19 thoughts on “Under Water Again

  1. That really does look like a piece of coral! Worth the hard work. I love the final photo – very clever indeed.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I may have to devote a room to my underwater theme if I keep finding creatures to make.

  2. I agree with Lyn, it really is a very convincing looking piece of coral! Well done 🙂 I’m glad you are enjoying this technique and see that you managed to avoid getting holes at both ends of the resist (I still struggle with that!).

    1. Thanks Teri for the compliment and inspiration! I did have to repair a small hole at the top and left the bottom open so it would stand by itself.

  3. Your coral sculpture turned out so well, and what a lot of hard work! I can imagine the difficulty in felting each finger of the coral, but you persevered. Terrific accomplishment and very cool setting.

    1. Thanks Cathy! Your madder wool was the perfect color. The blue sea is one of the silk pieces we dyed with indigo last year.

  4. Very interesting shape you achieved Marilyn. And having made one of these, I know how much work it involves. Now your coral needs some more sea creature friends 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruth! I already have my stingray and several fish. But there are plenty of other interesting creatures in the sea.

  5. A hairy coral – I wonder if they exist in nature? If not, they definitely should 😀 Well done, Marilyn, that’s a really interesting shape (and I am always ever in awe of the use of resists and the wonderful shapes they create.)

    1. Thanks Leonor! That’s a good question. I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to turn out, but I’m happy with it.

  6. Oh I really like this. You set yourself a real challenge with all those fingers! Its interesting that you used a variety of wools, I read recently that coarser wool is good for 3D work but so far I haven’t dared deviate from my Merino. You’ve inspired me to order a few different breads.

  7. Thanks Karen! I’ve been trying to use up some of my coarser wools. They are different to work with than merino and do create different textures. I’m glad I inspired you to give them a try. I look forward to hearing about your experience with them.

    1. I didn’t realize they made beads out of coral. The first layer was Romney the second domestic 56 from Lindsey that Cathy dyed with madder. There wasn’t much cheviot In the mix, but I’ve had that experience with cheviot though. Hiwever, it worked, just really hairy. 🙂 Icelandic can be problematic as well.

    1. Thanks Mary Lou! It was challenging, but fun to make.

  8. That turned out great, Marilyn! A flower shaped flat resist was hard enough, so I bet that was a lot of hard work 🙂

    1. Thanks Zed! I really didn’t know what to expect. The hardest part was working my fingers around in those narrow spaces to full and shape it. 🙂 But I’m pleased with the result.

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