Felt Pod with Differential Shrinkage Has a Mind of It’s Own

I am continuing on in the differential shrinkage experimentation mode and wanted to try a different shape with a resist and try again on the machine lace inclusion.

I stitched the stamen in a radiating pattern and doubled the length since my last ones were too short. I also am using a lighter inside wool color so that the black thread will show up better.

First, I decided on my resist shape and then covered it with four layers of batt on each side. The photo on the right shows the piece after a bit of felting. I really didn’t do that much felting but I should have paid a bit more attention. It was too felted and really already past the pre-felt stage. I haven’t used these short fiber merino batts that much and boy do they felt fast! But since I wasn’t paying enough attention, I just kept going.

I then cut the “pre-felt” into 5 pieces and started on the inner layer.

I used the same resist again and put the machine lace stamen in place over the resist. I covered that with a thin layer of merino wool in a yellow (with a green tinge). Then at the last moment, I decided to add a stem. So I whipped up a stem with brown and burnt orange and added that to the inner layer.

Now to add the “pre-felt” back over the inner layer and ready to felt. I took quite a bit of time trying to get the green to adhere to the yellow but it just wasn’t to be. I did add a bit more green wool to the top of the “petals” so that they would adhere better to the stem.

It seemed like it had started to adhere slightly to the yellow so I thought if I took the resist out and worked from the inside, that it might get those yellow fibers to adhere to the back side of the green.ย  But that really didn’t work. There were a few places where it adhered slightly but I needed to have roughed up the inside of the green felt and that might have worked. But really, I should have done less felting of the green so that it was still pre-felt.

So it didn’t turn out as planned. It looks more like a flower than a seed pod. The yellow layer is separate from the green and therefore, I didn’t get any differential shrinkage. The new stamen worked better than the last experiment and didn’t adhere to the felt even though I never covered them with plastic. But it is an experiment so I will just go with the result.

I decided the stem needed more dimension so I needle felted some grooves and notches to give it a more natural feel.

I’m not sure how many times I need to learn that sometimes wool/felt has a mind of it’s own. Also, that I can’t rush the process or not pay attention. That’s usually when I set myself up for disappointment. But I accept that it’s just another learning opportunity and an experiment. And perhaps, next time, I will remember to not rush the process.

 

About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to โ€œplayโ€ with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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16 Responses to Felt Pod with Differential Shrinkage Has a Mind of It’s Own

  1. Well, I like it! Sometimes we have to keep trying things until we get it right! I am making neck cowls at the moment and working with different layouts on the same size resist. That is making for some interesting results too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks! Yes, you do just have to keep trying new things and learning something each time. I am enjoying the journey ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for sharing your process. I like the results too!

  3. mosaicmagoie says:

    We learn right along beside you, thanks for posting and sharing your knowledge.

  4. annielynrosie says:

    You didn’t get the result you wanted but the final piece does look impressive and great in its own right! Love the stamens and the colours.
    We know and feel your frustration and we totally agree about taking time with felt … but this is real life and we all still rush it at times even though we know we shouldn’t.

  5. I get that it’s not what you planned but it does look good. My question is if it was supposed to be a seed pod why did it have stamen?

    • ruthlane says:

      Ann, you’re exactly right, seed pods have seeds, don’t they? Another duh moment. That’s what I get for not having a real seed pod to pattern this after.

  6. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    I think it turned out great. Maybe not what you envisioned, but felt can have a mind of its own. Time to try again.

  7. Antje says:

    I love the finished result – a flower complete with stamen….and a whole lot of learning! Wool has it’s own mind & we are never in total control of it. Just when you think you’ve got it sorted it throws a curve ball. But this is a great curve ball. I’ll try to remember your experience when I use short merino batting.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Antje! Yes, I seem to be getting a lot of those curve balls lately. Hopefully, I will remember the lessons learned ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Lindsay Wilkinson Artwork says:

    However frustrating, we learn as much from the things that donโ€™t go how we wanted as from those that do, so thanks for taking one for the team!

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