Shark-Boy! part 2

When last we chatted, i had consulted with Ann while topping up the butter tart supply.  She suggested looking at the integration zone, yes he is a bit skinny and needs to have a stronger transition blending the join between boy and shark.

I have made a stronger integration zone between shark and human by lengthening the abdominals into the under shark and brought the shark flanks up into the lats. i also added a dorsal line in the lumbar spine and the cervical spine. yes that looks better!

then it was time to add hands.

1-3 Floral wire from Dallerama unlabeled but probably 22 gauge

After adding the fingers.  I tried one of Sara’s tools for the first time, I had been using my mettle ruler and one of my weaving stick-shuttles successfully but this gives a lot of length options in one tool. I could do a similar thing with coroplast (a type of plastic cardboard) but I was interested in trying this out.

4 finger making tool, Stick shuttle and ruler

I used the floral wire from Dollerama (I think its 22 gauge since its unlabeled). I used an extra section of wire to reinforce the wrist. Rapping tiny fingers was a bit fiddly but went reasonably well. I switched to finer needles and started to work on the thenar and hypothenar eminences (those two bumps of at the base of the palm). I spent a long time poking both hands to get the shape to a place I was happy.

5-7 I was very pleased with the expressiveness the hands gave. You can also see more of the transition zone from shark to boy.

Yes, that took a week and it was a time to top up the butter tart inspiration!

 8-10 “those hands look creepy”

Success! Except I understand the hands look creepy. That might improve in the next step, On to Colour!!

By the way, it’s still raining.

I started laying in the base mid-tone grey on the hammerhead body then started playing with skin tones in the boy parts. (sorry I got distracted with adding the colour layer and forgot to go grab the camera)

 11-13 base layer, then adding wisps of colour

Just a sec, Ann just messaged me a tornado warning, got to go move hanging plants, drying wool and the 3 umbrellas!

Well, we made it through with odd-coloured sky and layers of clouds moving in different directions then a huge downpour.

The next morning I was a bit hesitant to check out how the side yard was doing. The studio, plants and wool survived so back to work!

14 Here is the wool that keeps getting extra rinses, this is just the first part of one of the two large rams fleeces I bought a couple of weeks ago. There is still a lot of VM  including burrs to clean-out. Now back to Shark-boy!

  15-18  wool and hanging baskets survived adding detail at the intersection and along the spine.

19 This summer Mrs. Crow and her family supervised me, as I have worked on the Mer family.  Today they all dropped by for a visit.

I started to lay in more thin wisps of colour over the base layers. I started with the human skin tones and the integration of the abdominal/underbelly. I also added a bit of the detailing along the colour change.

20-22 Adding more definition between belly and sides of sharks

I think he is enjoying how it is going and took a quick swim around the table.

23-30

Once I can catch him, I will continue adding colour to his hand and the rest of his body.

Have fun Felting!! Maybe it will stop raining at some point so i can get back to washing and drying the last of the fleeces.

Posted in 3D, Needle Felting | Tagged | 7 Comments

Slow progress and a workshop

I am writing this Sunday evening. My plan was to work on my cowl this afternoon. But after lunch, I just didn’t have any energy to do it, so after an incredibly busy week of baking, I decided on a nap instead. So at this point, I have nothing to show you about that.

I have booked a little hall for a workshop though. I had a request for a cat cave class. I am not sure I will get enough people to join as we have a short timeline. I have to have 4 people to run the class( 6  is the maximum) and I need them by Oct 9 so we can order the wool and get it here on time. her is the spiel Jan did for me for the class. the one I wrote up was boring. For those who don’t know where I hale from it is just outside Ottawa Ontario Canada. I included that info with all the shared posts on Facebook. it is a personal pet peeve of mine when people don’t post where it is for non-locals. Do you have any idea how many Perths and Cornwalls there are around the world? I have gotten all excited, only to find something is in Perth Australia or Cornwall, California USA?

Cat Cave Workshop

Do you have a present for that hard to shop for Cat on your Christmas list? Have you tried all the toys but are still being snubbed? I may have a solution for you! Have you considered making the perfect cat cave for your perfect cat? Whether you have a big or small cat if they like curling up and sleeping in cozy spaces then a cat cave may be your solution.
There will be a group order of wool (Finn) and consultation in creating your resist. Sign up quickly we have limited space so we can be socially distanced while we are felting together. Properly Fitting masks are required, and we will have our hands in warm soapy water!!

Wool: Finn (Pre-workshop group order) 1-4 KG depending on size and thickness of cat cave shapee.

When: Nov 7-8th 2020

Where: Pierces Corners Hall (Near North Gower, I will supply directions)

Cost: $100 plus costs of wool and a portion of shipping and duties

 

Suitable for enthusiastic beginners and people that have felted before.

Sign up soon and do not disappoint your cat, no one wants an unhappy cat Christmas morning.

To sign up or if you have any questions, please email me shepherdessann@gmail.com

I added some pictures of course

Posted in Uncategorized, workshops | 10 Comments

Slow Stitch Progress – Filling in Negative Space

Here’s the progress on my slow stitch project. I am still stitching away about 15-30 minutes per day on this piece.

The last time I showed you, it looked like this.

First, I added some more darker values with the deep purple thread in the mid ground area. Then because I thought that I needed a little more contrast in that area, I added some deeper red orange to look like more foliage.

Then on to working on the foreground trees. Here, I was looking at negative spaces and giving some darkness and shadow to delineate the tree trunks. I am continuing to use seed stitch and used a neutralized dark green in between the tree trunks. Since the stitches are so small, this definitely is in the slow stitch category. I am still working on the right hand side. Once that’s finished, I have more tree trunks “to pull out” on the left side.

And here’s how the entire piece looks as of now. I may need to darken up the shadows between the foreground trees and I have to decide what to do on the left hand bottom corner. The foreground trees will get some stitched leaf additions too. Plus the foreground will need work in front of the trees. I am definitely enjoying this project more since I’m not trying to force working on it for longer stretches.

 

 

Posted in felt art, hand stitching, Nuno Felting, Stitching, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Where did the sun go?

By the time you are reading this I will be back home in Lincolnshire but, right now, I’m tucked away in a lovely holiday cottage a few minutes from the beach at Beadnell in Northumberland wondering….. where did the sun go? This is one of my favourite parts of the UK, come rain or shine, and this week has certainly been a mix of both! One day I needed sunscreen and the next it was a full set of waterproofs!

As you can see, social distancing wasn’t a problem walking from Beadnell to Seahouses via the beach.
Got a good drenching walking south towards Dunstanburgh earlier today!

The beaches up here are a mix of fine golden sand, pebbles and wonderful layers of colourful rock – I can see a few of these images coming in useful as inspiration for future textile work.

But I digress……what I was wanting to share with you this time is my first attempt at sun printing. My friend Jacky has been doing a lot of this over the summer inspired by Micky Lawler’s “Skydyes”. A few weeks ago she suggested we get together in her garden, following social distancing guidelines, and she would show me how it’s done.

The first task was to roam around Jacky’s garden selecting leaves and flower heads for our prints. With eco printing certain leaves give better results (due to their chemical make up?) but with sun printing you can get sharpe prints from any leaf as long as you can make a good contact with your fabric. Some of the leaves we picked were hammered a little to flatten them out prior to use.

It was a very windy day so we used masking tape to hold down our cotton fabric before spritzing it with water.

Once we had wetted out we used a wide paintbrush and watered down (1:1) Pebeo Setacolor transparent paint to completely cover the fabric. You can buy paint specifically for sun printing but I’ve also read that any transparent acrylic paint will do the job.

Whilst the paint was still wet leaves and petals were then laid on and pinned, or weighted down using small pebbles, to ensure a good contact. We worked in the shade as fast as possible to avoid the paint drying out. As it was such a hot day the fabric was spritzed occasionally as we worked. Anything placed on the painted fabric acts as a resist for the sun, resulting in bleached out areas.

Small pebbles and rice were used create additional marks

The work was left in the sun for an hour or so while we ate lunch and once it had done its job the fabrics were ironed and this was the result…..

We had a lot of fun and varying degrees of success but it’s surprising how much more interesting certain areas can appear when you use a view finder.

This final image is a beautiful quilt that Jacky went on to make using a piece of her sun printed fabric and silhouette appliqué. The effect is pretty striking!

Posted in Guest Writer | 23 Comments

Shark-Boy! part 1

I started this post a few weeks ago but wanted to tell you about the Flax study group first. so while the Flax is off at the spa having hydrotherapy treatments lets look back a bit.

I hope you haven’t become bored in my fishy endeavors this summer. (I am looking forward to starting a less wet oriented project once I have this one in hand)

I have decided the Mer’s need a son. However, I want to have him more strongly on the shark side of the family, hammerhead shark to be specific. So back to my notes to adjust the armature sizes from the original measurements suggested by Sarra in her you tube felt along Mermaid.  I reduced the proportions for the body and then considered the extended length of the hammerhead shark body.

 1   14 gauge aluminum wire armature.

   2 Using a second piece of wire to Stabilizing the arms and third for the body.

For this Mer I went with a much more fishy lower body, basing it on the hammerhead shark.  I again did a thorough search of images to find reference shots. Referring back to the diagrams,  photos, and a bit of research I found out there is a difference in fin alinement between adolescent and adult hammerhead sharks.  I extended the body armature, adding fins in appropriate places for a youthful shark.

  3-4 adding a fishy long shark body

I have tried various starting points while felting the Mer’s, this time I started with the head and worked down.

  5-9 Starting at the top and working down

I added wool, by rapping and adding layers of wool, continuing down the body to the first pair of (Pectoral) fins. I secured fiber to the lower back then worked out and back building up the fins and upper part of the shark body.

 10-11 Pectoral fins

Now on to the first Dorsal fin. I created a flat rectangle and felted the center line which will become the front edge of large fin.

 12-13 Dorsal Fin.

The fin armature was rapped with the white wool then the fin cover was added and felted in.

  14 -19 the Dorsal fin and blocking out the shark body

When working It is good to take pictures, not just to have a record of what you have done but also to get a different perspective on your work.  (It’s like holding a painting up to a mirror to help your brain see it more clearly) He is still looking a bit too skinny, he needs a bit of weight training. I am sure I can do something about that.

Yes it rained again. another extra rinse for the fleece. I am still dry under here, so let’s keep having fun!

   20 more rain, shark-boy starts weight training

I started to play around with the transition section and adding a bit more width to the body of the shark parts.

  21-23 transition between Boy and Fish ( i have to make the transition look integrated not like a shark is eating someone feet first)

  24 checking both photos and diagrams

Now to add the Caudal fin, which has a subterminal notch! And yes it rained again.

25 this is a cool tool, it unscrews by turning the nob. be careful not to get one that requires a screwdriver  to undo it from below (it can be painful if you slip)

Pause in the rain, time for a Tomato brake!

   26-28  Haratige, Low acid yellow pair, Sweet i millions

Yes I am still trying to wash and dry fleece so yes it rained again. I guess it needs more rinsing? OK, back to work!

 29-31

Time to add the two Pelvic fins,

  32-33 shape both fins at the same time before adding them

It was still raining but not leaking in the covered dog area which is now my studio, Shark boy is keeping an eye on the weather while I make his fins.

34 will it ever stop with the intermittent rain?

  35 before adding the pelvic fins I need to add the Anal fin, but first checking the location on the diagrams and photos.

    36-37 make 2 so they will be balanced

Adding the pelvic fins between the pectoral and anal fin. As you can see, shark boy did not inherit the vestigial knees found in the rest of the Mer family.

 38-39

Its time to pack up for the day. Tomorrow is the day to restock on Ann’s Tarts and get her impute in how this project is  going.

40 OK more rain.. time to pack up. tomorrow is Butter tart day!! (Saturday)

  41-43 Ann had her New poncho to show me! It looks grate!

The decision on shark boy was to keep working on the intersection between shark and boy. That will be next week but for now its time for butter tarts!!

Posted in 3D, Needle Felting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Where has all the time gone?

I do not know where time has gone. I remember having time but it seems very elusive at the moment. Most of my time is taken up with preparing things for our farmer’s market. Thursday is cookies and Friday with my husband doing as much as me, are all the fresh baked goods like butter tarts and buttermilk tarts. lemon curd for tarts too and bread. all this is fine but now I am spending the rest of the week making meat pies. Tourtiere and Chicken. selling out as fast as I can make them. Don’t get me wrong, this is all good it just doesn’t leave much time for felting.

To that end, I have only a couple of pictures of my current felt cowl project I was telling you about here: felted cowl part 1

This is making the template. I drew around the finished paper one and then sized it up.

And this is the silk wrapped around it. Is anyone surprised I picked purple?  You can see the line across on the other side. I forgot to take a picture of the other side. I took me forever and many tried to get the silk around it. I was just not wrapping my head around how to do it. Looking at it here I would make the template larger top to bottom and tape it across the middle, around, then around back and across the middle again. I think I was trying to do it like the paper one which has the joined area on the diagonal and the back part strait. This is much easier. I will put in some basting stitches to replace the tape and I can move onto the laying out of fibres. At this rate, it will be a Christmas present to myself.

By the time I got to this point, I was ready to say this will be a one-off experiment because I am not struggling like this for everyone I make. But now seeing it in a picture after several days of throwing evil looks at it on the other table I think it won’t be so hard the second time.

How would you set up for this type of scarf?

 

 

Posted in Design, Experiments, Nuno Felting, Scarves, Uncategorized | Tagged | 14 Comments

Third Quarter Challenge Entry

I have been quandering what to make for the third quarter challenge for some time now. I had thought about making a coat for our new dog Edgar but he is so rough and loves to chew everything, so I wasn’t sure it would last long. I don’t wear wraps, scarves, hats or mittens much so I kept putting it off. But it’s getting down to the wire so I decided I would use my layout and differential shrinkage methods on making a hat. I’m not a hat wearer. I always think that hats make me look silly plus I have a really big head. But up in my closet, I have several hat blocks (from Hat Shapers and Frank’s Cane and Rush Supply – I have no affiliation with either of these companies). I thought I should try using things I have learned in my prior experiments to see if I would enjoy the process of hat making more than I have in the past. Plus I had a suggestion for using my leftover prefelt in a way to look like a brain. Doesn’t this sound like a recipe for disaster?

I started out by laying out two layers of red wool. I did the same layout that created a nice bowl shape here. The inner part of the circle is laid radially and the outer edge is laid around the circumference. Normally when I make a hat, I use a resist. But here I just started with a flat circle of laid out wool. I then added the cut prefelt for the “brain” idea. I covered the prefelt with another two layers of red wool. I then started felting and made sure it was all holding together.

Once the piece was at prefelt stage, I got out the Hat Shapers Shaping Dome. I worked the felt around the circle to get it to shrink and fit the dome shape. Once it was fitting that shape a bit better, I switched to the final Hat Shaper.

This one is called Flanged Brim Cloche. I soon realized that my circle wasn’t big enough and also that my ring of circumferential fiber/wool should have been larger. I worked and worked on getting it to shrink down, but it was done shrinking and very stiff. Perhaps I should have just turned it upside down and called it a dish at that point!

So what to do? I put it on the Frank’s Rush and Cane Supply high dome hat block. I just started playing around with different ways to decrease the circumference where the hat sits on your head. So I ended up with the back looking like a bonnet from Little House on the Prairie (a television show in the 1970’s for those of you who aren’t in the US). But I took a problem and made it into a design feature. I did stitch the back together after the hat was dry to keep the folds in place.

And here it is after I dressed it up with a felt flower that was hanging around the studio. And remember the yellow prefelt? It hardly made much difference in the shape at all. I didn’t double it up like I had in my previous experiments, nor did I stitch it down. So it gave just a small bit of shape and color to the end result. You can see the yellow best in the hat photo from above. And guess what? The hat doesn’t fit me, it’s too small and very shallow so it sits on the top of my head and looks ridiculous. It was so bad, I didn’t even take a photo. You’ll just have to imagine it.  Anybody need a hat?

At least I have an entry for the third quarter challenge and now I remember why I don’t make hats.

 

Posted in 3D, Felted Hats, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Danish Style Shawl

This post is written by Teri Berry, just a little confusion on the publishing so it shows up under my  name. Ruth

Every few months (before Coronavirus blighted our lives) I used to meet with a couple of friends for felting play dates, where we share what we have been working on, discuss ideas for future projects and teach each other new skills. Last month we had our first felting play date for more than 6 months. It was just so lovely to chat woolly gossip while working on our own projects, Janine all but had to throw Nancy and me out of her gorgeous studio at the end of the day!

During our show and tell Janine shared a gorgeous wrap-around shawl she had knitted, it was based on a traditional Danish design that is tied behind your back so you do not need a hand or shawl pin to hold it in place, ingenious!

I took one look at Janine’s shawl and knew I wanted to make a nuno-felt version.

As the pattern of this shawl is symmetrical, it was an ideal candidate for laying out over a resist. Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to measure Janine’s shawl but manage to fudge my calculations based on my own body measurements and created a resist allowing for 50% shrinkage.

I laid out a very pretty piece of blue and pink silk chiffon over both sides of the resist, wetting it so the fabric adhered to the resist and then trimmed the silk to the size of the resist.

Then I laid out 2 layers of merino on each side of the resist, adding a felt rope to each side of the pointed tip before rubbing and rolling until the wool was starting to shrink.

To remove the resist I cut along all of the curved edges, leaving only the straight edge intact.

Some more fulling and trimming later, this is the result:

It is far from perfect, I have a long list of changes to make for the next iteration but this design definitely has possibilities…. coming to an Etsy shop near you before Christmas! (sorry, I know I should not mention the C word this early in the year! 😉 ).

Speaking of shops, another piece of good news is that the Craft Coop in Camberley are hosting a mini exhibition of my work this week (on now until Sunday 20th September), if you are in the area please do pop in, we are in the Square Shopping Centre.

Online Classes

A friendly reminder that registration for the Concertina Hat and Felted Bags classes is now open. This will be your last chance to take these classes this year, please email me ASAP at teri@teriberry.com if you would like to participate.

More information on these classes can be found here:

Happy Felting!

Posted in Wet Felting | 12 Comments

Flax Study Group 2020 –Seed removal PART 2

When we last left off, we had just started rolling the seed heads Cole had removed with his bladed implement and the rakes when Henry returned from his quest. He had gone off to seek grated screens  so we could sieve out the chaff and sand and leave less wast with the seed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51-53 the sieving begins, There were a lot of screen options and it took a moment to work out the right order.

 

 

 

54-55 The seed fell further than the chaff, the sand fell further than the seed. It was a brilliant idea!

 

 

56-58 Cole tried the rolling method without the pillowcase and then added the squished bits to the sieves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

59-60 The fine sieve got  rid of a lot of the sand

 

61-67 The sieves removed a lot of chaff and sand! What a brilliant idea!

 

 

 

68 Some of the chaff had tiny stones that would not fit through the sieve.

 

 

 

 

  69 We labeled the bags as sieved and unsaved.

70-71 we had a couple of cow supervisors checking our work. We continued to keep an eye on the cleaners in case they went for the bags with chaff and seeds (with a team effort I am sure they would have carried the bags away!!)

 

72-75 Henry moved the flax back to the wagon, we pulled a few bundles for Bernadette to try field retting.  The rest of the flax will be off to the trough to rett. We made sure to take all the bags of seed and chaff with us. (Those cleaners look vary through)

We called it a day and headed home via a couple more stops.

One was at Ann’s to pick up butter tarts and cookies we had pre ordered and see the bulging box of wool bomb from World of Wool!!

 76 best not to open it we will never get it back in the box.

77 Surprise!! You have lambs!! In August!

 

 

 

78 Turkeys!!(Ann’s lawn ornaments stair at you then all talk at once!)

 

 

79 some of her Boys, look at those lovely colour coats!!!! (i hope they get a trim before there off to where ever boy lambs go so you don’t have august lambs.)

 

A last word on the flax

While I get back to felting, Henry and Cathy Louise will give the flax a spa day, two or three submerged in the trough. I am unsure of the name of this particular spa treatment. It dose not seem to be covered in my hydrotherapy notes from school, since we never submerged patents in hydrotherapy using a layer of cinder-blocks to keep them under. Where would you get therapeutic cinder-blocks?

Have fun and happy felting, i will let you know when the flax has emerged from the “spa” and is ready for some heavy tapotement!

 

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The wool arrives , part 2 , the delivery

The wool had to be delivered. I didn’t take my things out first because I thought everyone would want to see mine too. We met at Jans as she is in the middle. See its not that much wool. There is room for lots more in my car.

Before we started Judy brought some interesting wool for Jan to use as witch hair. It is  Scottish Mule. It is a cross between a Sottish Black Face and a Bluefaced Leicester.

The first box had my Finish batts

Jans core wool, shetland prefelt and Fawn Corriedale roving. Can you believe it? Jan took so many pictures and non of her own pile. Here’s a shot of the prefelt.

and then unexpectedly my sample packs were at the very bottom.

They are Bambino and Glitzy sample packs. I will keep one of each and sell the rest.

Then it was time for box 2 We got a few things out of the top

But then it was time to up-end it.

It was fun sorting who had what.

I got some wool called tweed it is South American wool and viscose. I got pink and grey I liked the look of it. I think it would make a nice hat. It was compressed down so I opened it to have a better look. Oh look, there is Jans core wool behind.

Isn’t it cool looking?

Then it started to get windy so we had to get the tent down.

And then it was time for me to head home before it decided to start Raining too.

You can see Jan added a trumpet Vine to my box. It is continuing to add roots in a bucket under the apple tree.

That was our adventure in wool buying, I hope you enjoyed it.

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged | 20 Comments