I have not made any felt since last November, and the possibility that I may have forgotten how to make wet felt was upsetting. So, with this post looming, I began thinking about what to do, and to make something that would reassure me.
I decided to make a vessel, and to use the few remaining heart shapes I had, for decoration. I had made some flat felt to make heart shaped lavender sachets, to be placed into Christmas stockings last year. Valentine’s Day is well and truly over for this year, but it was a good idea to use them up.
The last vessel I made did not have a nice flat bottom, but that was due to the shape of the resist, so for this one I used a disc shape. I also wanted it to stand up, and not collapse in on itself, and to be useful to keep ‘things’ in. The colour was dictated by the fibre in my plastic storage box.
This is how it looked when I finished my layout.
I used an 18 inch disc shaped resist and laid my fibre out and arranged the hearts around the centre, and decorated with a little silk. I wanted the opening to be in the middle. I placed the final heart on the inside, hoping that it would be visible when looking in.
I used quite a few layers on each side. I used a palm washboard (recently purchased) for rubbing, it is so nice to use, and no missing any areas either. I rolled in all 4 directions on both sides too for good measure, about 400 times, and then when I could see and feel the resist beginning to curl at the edges, I cut a hole in the centre.
After a bit more rubbing, kneading and rolling, there was a satisfactory shrinkage, and I could see the centre heart. More rubbing, and shaping followed and a bowl shaped vessel emerged.
I healed the edge, and then I had to get the shape right. Some steaming with the iron, more rolling. The hearts kept their shape pretty well, although, now I feel that they were not quite in the centre, but I am happy that I remembered how to do the whole process.
I wish I knew how to get a rolled in edge on a vessel though. Is that even possible?
This is how it looks when dry, and the towel removed from the inside.
It is standing up nicely, keeping it’s shape, the heart inside is nicely centred, and there is very little fuzz. It would have been good if the inside had more white, but it was all I had. Not quite round either, but I can live with it, and it will be useful. It is quite magical making felt, and I will practice more often.
I called in at my local library the next day, and found Ruth’s book! I have borrowed it.