Surface Design Elements

I made an accidental landscape picture last week at the well-being centre. I’d taken lots of the wool kebab tubes in for a play around and thought I’d see how laying them in 2 different directions worked out. I put the middle lot of tubes on first, then the diagonal ones at the top, then filled in the gaps at the sides with a couple more on each end. We were talking about the bag of dyed embellishments I’d taken in and I pulled out some cotton and fluffed it up, and noticing some gaps on my layout, thought I’d add it to show how it felted. It looks kind of futuristic, in a non gloomy or dystopian kind of way:

The mix of fibres is more apparent on an angle:

One of the grey angled tubes was made from weird tops I got in a mostly grey bag of Botany lap, it is a soft natural wool blended with something like Angelina. I never thought I’d find a use for it, but wrapped around a skewer it looked kind of industrial, like something with copper wires poking out. I tried to get a good close up:

I thought I’d try making a piece with the tubes kind of crammed on, instead of laying them out neatly next to each other, because they tend to move a bit and leave gaps. I didn’t over do it, just added two or 3 more than if I’d positioned them. I also wanted to see what the tubes looked like if they were stretched, so I pulled some of them from each end until they were the right size to fit accross the layout:

On an angle:

I liked the contrast of the shiny red and yellow bamboo on the Sapphire blue of these:

These next couple of pieces are made with wool and fibre twists. I used quite a lot of the tops from my weird grey/black and white botany lap waste bag for the twists used on this, plus a few blends of my own:

An angled pic of course:

And a sideways close up:

I thought it’d be nice to show twists used simply because not everyone wants to make something which looks ‘real’, I cut the twists in half, and then made some little woolly balls to go in the gaps:

It has a kind of swaying seaweedy feel to it:

**EDIT: I realised it isn’t easy to visualise making the wool tubes with the kebab skewers, so I’ve done a quick video:

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15 Responses to Surface Design Elements

  1. Lyn says:

    Those kebabs make great pieces of art! When I first looked at the green twists piece I thought of flowers but you’re right about the seaweedy look – perhaps there are fish hiding amongst the seabed plants but all we can see of them are their air bubbles rising to the surface. Whatever it is, I like it!

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Lyn πŸ™‚
      Maybe I’ll recreate the picture when we use prefelt, and cut some fish out!

  2. meterrilee says:

    Really nice use of twists and kebabs! When I make “kebabs/rolls,” I usually do it in multi-colored layers, then slice them like a sausage to reflect all the colors rolled around inside. Are your kebabs thick? I would think it’s a bit challenging to get all the wool in a kebab to felt well, due to thickness. I really like the seaweed pic! I am going to try this. πŸ™‚

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Terri πŸ™‚
      Oh, I can’t even imagine trying to felt a thicj ‘kebab’! These are tiny, really, about 3 to 4 inches long and literally rolled around a kebab skewer-but just wisps though, the tubes are probably only 2-3 mm wide, and hollow. They feel great in a bunch, really squishy!

  3. ruthlane says:

    These all look very landscapey to me. These are great! I think I will have to try making a few πŸ™‚

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ruth πŸ™‚
      It’s very therapeutic making the twists and tubes, and you can binge watch a series while you’re at it!

  4. Florence says:

    Never heard of felted kebabs. So wrap wisps around the stick. Felt and pull out the kebab stick. Could you make a necklace like this, rethreading the kebabs with jewellery cord/ line. How thick are these before felting?

    • zedster66 says:

      Hi Florence,
      It’s just a name that’s stuck because I use a kebab skewer to get the wisps out of my hand carders, and they come out easier if I turn the skewer. To make your own, put a few wisps of wool on a surface which isn’t too shiny, my table has a shower curtain on it, or a flat towel will do. Just wisps, about 3 inches ‘tall’ or wide, put the kebab skewer on the finer ends, use a finger to help them over and just roll up. You can neaten it by turning over in your hand. Then slide the tube off. These are hollow, about 2-3mm wide. I think Ann/Shepherdess does make beads a similar way with pencils, they are much thicker. You don’t felt these while they’re on the stick, you want a fine tube.

  5. Karen Lane says:

    I’ve not heard of felted kebabs either. Love the textures you’ve got, particularly like the design in the fourth and fifth photos.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Karen πŸ™‚
      I should have come up with a Japanese name, that seems to be the thing for felting terms πŸ™‚

  6. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    All the kebab designs are lovely. But I admit the crammed one is a fav. I’ll have to try this. It’s a great way to use up bits and bobs. πŸ™‚

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Marilyn πŸ™‚
      yeah, I think the birds might not get as many scraps in future! I should probably use all the ones I’ve saved from my carders before i make more, that should be interesting because they really are random.

  7. Karen Klein, PhD says:

    Can you describe how you made your kebabs?

    • zedster66 says:

      Hi Karen,
      have a look at my reply to Florence, I describe it there πŸ™‚
      If it ever stops raining, and brightens up enough, I’ll make a video.

  8. Tracey says:

    Great vid Zed, thanks.

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