Going Dotty

Going Dotty

A few weeks ago I was indulgently scrolling through Pinterest, as you do, and came across a ceramic vase with a pretty, colourful pattern around its rim.

This inspired an experiment to see if I could achieve a similar efffect in felt…..

I made a collection of cords in different colours, cut them to rougly the same length and sandwiched them between 4 layers of wool tops.

These were felted to the prefelt stage before cutting into strips and laying out on 2 more layers of wool:

Then covered with 2 more layers of wool before felting to the firm prefelt stage.

I wanted to shape it into a bowl, so draped it over a hat block and rubbed it vigorously to make the sides shrink onto the shape of the block,

The colours from the cut ropes were already migrating through even after a few minutes of rubbing.

After lots more rubbing and a trim it was holding it’s shape well.

I had always intended to shave the finished bowl bring out the colours in the spots but found shaving hasn’t made that much difference to the colour intensity of the spots:

Before shaving
After shaving

I am really pleased with the colourful effect from this experiment and will persist with the shaving.

15 thoughts on “Going Dotty

  1. This is awesome! I could not even imagine being savvy enough to think through the process to attempt this! But with your inspiration I think I will try using your technique. Thank you for sharing your process (and in such a clear manner).

    The millefeuille design in glassware was my Dad’s favourite and I have a few pieces that he collected over his life. Your bowl is absolutely stunning.

  2. Cool idea Teri! I’m glad it worked for you. I wonder how well it would felt leaving the colorful strips on the surface without covering with other wool? Then the colors would be much more clear. Another experiment to try.

  3. Wow!! What a fantastic vase and your thoughtful way of exploring how to recreate it in wool! Thank you very much for sharing with us. You have me wondering…:)

  4. Shaved or not the bowl is very pretty – I love the way you’ve taken inspiration from ceramics and translated it into felting.

    Really enjoyed reading about your process and seeing your photos.

    I was thinking along the same lines as Ruth as I like the photo of the pre-felt cut into strips.

  5. That’s really neat, Teri!

    This may not be clearly stated, but I have often seen a semi-connection between felting techniques and some Fimo clay techniques. My father, when he was alive, made me some buttons inspired by mokume gane (layering and slicing) techniques. I am a relative beginner, but there are times that I see those cane manipulations in felting. I know there’s so much more to be learned about felting possibilities.

  6. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments 🙂
    I loved the colours of the laid out cut strips too, I think part of the reason the colours merged together so much was that the cut strips were only loosely felted together, if / when I make another I will full the first stage (before cutting the strips). The cut ends should still felt to the base well. Please let me know how you get on if you give this technique a go.

  7. Thats a beautiful bowl Teri. I was shown this technique by Mandy Nash but we did full our felt before cutting in to strips. Then we needled a layer of fibre on to the back of the strips before continuing to wet felt it. It does create a lovely effect.

    1. I’ve done this with Mandy Nash too. We created a sort of sea slug type thingy by twisting the cut out pieces, but you need to be very strong to use Mandy’s technique as everything seemed to be almost fully fulled before going on to the next step. She had to cut my strips for me as I could not do it.
      I love the effect you’ve achieved Teri and, like Ruth, was wondering how it would work without covering the strips with fibres.
      The technique is actually the same as glass artists use to achieve the same result, creating strips, and then putting them together in more glass.

  8. Thanks for all the photos ….. you are kind to share how you produced such an awesome piece!!!!!
    I am a beginner/intermediate felter.

  9. Very Cool Terry I did not see where you were going with the process. A cool surprise. I think the spots look less blurry in the saved picture. It Gives me some interesting ideas. I am looking forward to see what you do with it int he future

  10. Teri This is a really exciting technique and I love your bowl (hopefully the kittens are keeping their distance otherwise shaving will be the least of your issues lol). I must try it. 🙂

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