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Influencing Shape with Fiber Layout and Prefelt

Influencing Shape with Fiber Layout and Prefelt

I am continuing with my experiments with how fiber layout and prefelt effect the shape of three dimensional wet felt. I decided to combine two of the things that I had tried before.

The first was the circular layout that I showed you in this post. The cone above was made with the same circular layout. I used orange wool and laid it in a circular pattern to make a small circle. Then I used an idea from Kim Winter of Flextiles which she showed in this post. I cut up some old felt into pieces and made sure the back fibers were roughed up.

Here’s the layout. There is a resist under the circle but I didn’t use it. It was just to get the circular shape easily. I removed it before felting. I then got so involved in working on the piece that I forgot to take any photos until I was finished. But I wet this down, turned it upside down and worked from the back side for quite a while rubbing and making sure that the yellow felt pieces were attaching. It actually worked better than I thought it would and the old felt attached right down to the orange wool. Thanks for the tip Kim!

Here is the result. When I was felting and fulling this piece, I kept working around in a circle so that the orange wool would shrink into a cone shape. With the addition of the yellow felt, the shape was definitely effected by the radiating felt shapes. It turned into a squash blossom all by itself! The formation of the 3D shape developed with minimal effort and shaping on my part.

Since it looked so much like a squash blossom, I added it to my squash pod from last week. They went together like I had planned it from the beginning. Of course if I had planned it, I don’t think they would have worked so well, but cheers for happy accidents.

Throwback Post – Texture

Throwback Post – Texture

We were talking about doing some ‘throwback’ posts this year, and while I was giving the site a bit of a tidy-up and adding a new 3D page over the New Year, I came across this one of mine from September 2014, and thought it’d be a good one to start with. Do you ever revisit your old work and get inspired with new ideas?

A while ago I bought a weird fluffy, knitted, tubular scarf from Poundland to try felting with. If you ever buy one, make sure you cut it over a bucket or newspaper or something to catch all the bits! I laid out a couple of layers of very wispy pink Merino tops left over from a book cover I made last year, then I added the piece of scarf, and 2 more wispy layers of wool tops. It didn’t take long to felt. This is one side of it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the other side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is what it looked like holding it up to the sky:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t remember how long after, but I decided the scarf sampler might make a nice sculptural piece similar to one I’d made before. I didn’t make it in exactly the same way, I concertina’d it and stitched in place, then twisted and felted and fulled more. This is the top:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up of the ridges:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASuper close up of the texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up of the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd a super close up of the texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, what do I do with the other 8 square feet of fluffy knitted stuff? 🙂

Exploring Different Pod Shapes

Exploring Different Pod Shapes

We have another Guest Post by Tracey from the Forum today.

I wanted to carry on exploring how to make different shaped pods by altering the shape of the resists. I thought a stone shape may open up new possibilities regarding the surface design. I have always used pond liner for my resists, I think it is perfect for the job, especially as we had a lot left over from pond construction! Here is the resist, it roughly measures 15.5” x 10.5”.

As before I placed six layers of Merino wool either side of the resist and here it is wetted down with yellow and orange silk hankies as decoration, the colour of the wool is a lovely rust so I thought how this would compliment it.

After lots of hard work felting, I cut a cross to take the resist out, it is a small hole, luckily I have small hands to get inside to start the fulling!

Once it was fulled, I packed it with fabric to help it dry out, by doing this it creates ‘memory’ and hopefully retains the shape you want it to be. When it was dry I had plans to decorate it slightly with some Mother of Pearl nugget shell beads that needed a home, the colour matched perfectly. Here is the finished pod.

Because by then, I definitely had the bug, I made more.

When I am layering the wool, I try to lay it neither too thinly or too thickly, but evenly of course. I was putting down six layers of wool each side of the resist as I have mentioned before. However, when I have held my pods I feel that the very bottom ‘gives’ a little, even though I work them until my shoulders and arms ache!, so I was not very happy with this. I decided to go to seven layers, a lot of wool!, but I am far happier with the outcome, much sturdier and thicker of course!

I then decided to change the shape of the resist once again and cut an oval shape, this one measures 16.5” x 13.5”.

For this design I put down four layers of Merino each side, wetting down each time. I then added two small circles of resist to reveal craters in the end design, with a different colour underneath. Here is the picture, I didn’t realise at the time but it looks like a happy grinning martian! I then continued with the remaining three layers each side.

I then decorated it with lots of lovely Blue Faced Leicester locks and wool nepps.

Lots of hard felting and fulling later, here it is, with a little bead detail.

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