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Cuffs and Stuff

Cuffs and Stuff

A couple of years ago a friend alerted me to the wonderful Australian magazine simply called “Felt”. It’s only published twice a year but I look forward to it eagerly as it’s always crammed with interesting photographs and articles including artist profiles and project tutorials.

One of the artists featured in the latest edition is the Canadian born feltmaker Christianna Ferguson. Christianna’s work is very colourful and textural and, as well as teaching and exhibiting, she also creates what she calls “more functional art: scarves, purses, cuffs, tea-cosies and wearables.”

Examples of the colourful and textural work of Christianna Ferguson

So, having read about her work, when I turned the page and saw the tutorial for making her fabulous little Nuno felted and hand embroidered cuffs I had to have a go!

The fasteners are particularly cute and make an interesting feature but I struggled to get them as firm as I would have liked. For an added twist I’ve included some hand stitching and a bead to my fasteners. I added some hand embroidery to my green cuff but wasn’t happy with it…..looking back at Christianna’s examples I can see that my stitching wasn’t subtle enough! I much prefer the grey one which I left plain.

The good thing to come out of this exercise, having made two in this style, is that I’ve been reminded how much fun cuffs are to make. I designed several Nuno felted & free motion stitched cuffs for my sales tables last year and this has encouraged me to get on and make more.

Some of my earlier cuffs – can’t help but think of bacon rashers when I look at this photo!
Nuno felted and free motion stitched cuffs

I also got thinking about other possibilities and how much more sculptural I could make my cuffs. The next set are based on the design of one of my bangles, using a felt ball as the fastener and keeping the little beaded element.

The bangle that inspired the cuffs
The slits have been filled with half balls and metal buttons

They were all fun to make but I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer the irregular shaped, Nuno style with the stitched edging (from last year) so I’ve come full circle! These are two I started this morning…..

Pre-felts laid out and wetted prior to felting
Using differential shrinkage creates an undulating surface

And this is them finished. Christianna said that when she makes hers “each cuff feels like a little piece of abstract art” and I couldn’t agree more. Although I love creating larger pieces of work there is something very satisfying about making these little cuffs and ending up with a totally unique, wearable item.

Update on Nuno Felted Landscapes

Update on Nuno Felted Landscapes

I started working on some nuno felted landscapes in April. It has been stop and start on getting them completed. But I thought I would give you an update on the results so far.

I showed you Flathead Lake at the end of April. I got a few comments on perhaps adding more stitching to the trees. It took a bit of contemplation about whether I should add more stitching. The main reasons I decided to go ahead and add some stitching is to bring the trees more into the foreground and to hide some of the horizontal stitching that I did on the lake area.

I used a #12 variegated cotton thread and free motion stitched the branches. I do like the highlights that it added and it definitely helped cover the horizontal lines of “lake stitching”. Now I need to find a “matte” fabric and get it ready for framing.

 

This is another background. I decided to hand stitch this one. I’m not sure why since it is the biggest one. It should take me quite a while especially since I have become disenchanted with it. I was working on it steadily but that has gone by the wayside.

Here it is after stitching the distant pine trees.

Then I stitched more foliage and aspen trees. I am using seed stitch and using a variety of colors. I was thinking it was similar to impressionist paintings with little dots of color. I think painting is significantly faster than stitching. So this is definitely a slow stitch piece.

Here’s a closer look at the stitches. I think I got discouraged because I still had so much to fill. I will be adding some different stitches into the foreground but I have to get the further distances completed before I can start on the foreground. What do you do when you get discouraged in the middle of a project? I have been working on other stuff, so it isn’t that I am not doing anything. But this one is not very appealing right now. Any suggestions?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone.

I hope you had a great time ringing in the new year and are enjoying the first day of a new decade.

Time to think back to what I have done and what I want to do.

Last year I did some experimenting with pots.

Did some more artwork

Took a few classes

And taught a few classes.

I took on organizing my guilds annual sale and exhibition with the help of an amazing group of people.

Next year, I am not really sure. I am chair of the sale and exhibition again this year.  I know I am doing more teaching (LINK) and I need to update and sort out my website.

Plans early this year are to get the pictures done for an online class. Jan is going to help with this so I have to get felting to have different stages so we can film more in one day. I am sure Ruth has lost hope of me ever getting it done.

I want to do more artwork with hand stitching. I really do enjoy sitting and stitching. It looks so nice on the felt. To that end, I made a few picture blanks between Christmas and new year. Sorry Its not a great picture I just did it quick while writing this.

Beyond that, I really haven’t planned much. Do you have plans for the year, big or small we would love to hear what they are? We would also love you to share pictures and chat about what you are doing over on the Forum. (LINK)

 

Three Goals in One Project

Three Goals in One Project

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from the states. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful day with friends and family.

Last week, my friend Deb told you about her experience with nuno felting. This is the piece that I made during that nuno party.

The plan was to get a nuno felt piece completed at the party. This piece is only about 5″ x 5″ and I planned to get at least one more done but somehow I didn’t manage that. The other two goals were to create a colorscape for the 4th quarter challenge and to use the end result as one of my Level 3 color studies.

So the color scheme is red orange, green and blue. I originally thought I would lay green threads on top and then couch them down. Then I would add some french knots as poppies? But here I go being too literal again. It was just supposed to be a “colorscape”. I needed to keep it simple.

So I found some thin, hand dyed green thread and added it in with running stitch, also called Kantha stitch.

Then I added the red orange thread in Kantha as well. I like how the Kantha mimics the same texture as the nuno felted silk. So here is my colorscape for the 4th quarter challenge which is also going to be part of my homework for class and it was completed at our group meeting. So I managed to get three things off my list in one piece. Yay!

 

Nuno Felting Party

Nuno Felting Party

This is a guest post by Deb Stika who is a member of my local art group. 

I’m a member of Ruth’s art group and am back reporting on Nuno felting. The above photos are of the finished product. I really wanted to like Nuno felting but I can’t honestly say I did—even though my art group buddies repeated the tutorial session for me because I missed the last one—thank you everyone!!! Nuno felting is a lot of work. Some of the work very tedious and messy…

Getting to work with lovely wool fibers was nice…

 

Pulling the fibers apart was fun…


And laying them down was satisfying…


Smooshing around with soapy water… endlessly…

And rubbing…rubbing…rubbing…then rolling…rolling…rolling…


And rubbing some more…


And then you toss the darn thing…HARD!!!

Ruth said if I was not happy with doing Nuno felting that I should not try felting. I
don’t think there is any risk of that happening!!! Thanks again to my group…I
enjoyed being with you as always!

Do you have experiences with nuno felting that made you feel like this? We’d love to hear about them.

Year End Review and Giveaway Winner

Year End Review and Giveaway Winner

I’m always surprised when I look back on the year and see I achieved more than I thought, even this year when I know I haven’t had the opportunity to make things as often as previous years. I’ve had quite a lot of changes this year, including an additional 2 people in our household, so I’ve had less space, and less time to make things. And, like I mentioned in a blog post not so long ago, production anxiety has made it difficult to just enjoy making things. Luckily, I have the Well Being centre sessions which help with having a nice space to be productive/creative in and the time set aside nearly every week to do it. I liked Ruth’s idea of splitting the year’s creations into two slide shows, so I’ve borrowed it! Here are some things I made in the first half:

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The plan is for a couple of people at our house to move out before too long, and, I don’t want to count my chickens, but I’ve pretty much redesigned the spare room in my head to be my new studio! It’s a great room too, upstairs and facing South-ish, so it gets more ‘daylight’ than any of the other rooms at this time of year. I started working on a nuno workshop during the Summer, but just haven’t been able to get very far without space or light for taking photos and video, so hopefully, I’ll be able to work on that before too long. As well as liking Ruth’s idea for the slideshows, I like the recommitment to a daily dose of fibre too. I’m sure I must spend at least 5 minutes a day doing something to do with fibre, so I’m going to start keeping a log of what I manage. It might make me feel less like I’ve done nothing! Here’s a slideshow of stuff I made or did during the 2nd half of the year:

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Thanks a lot to everyone who entered my Giveaway, and thanks a lot for all the really nice comments. If you’d really like to buy a copy of the book, it’s available via my blog: http://feltbyzed.blogspot.com/p/the-right-fibre.html or via the Shop here https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/shop/felt-by-zed/

The winner of The Right Fibre e-book is: Barbara King! I’ll email you via the e-mail address you used to comment, Barbara 🙂

Another 4th Quarter Challenge Sample

Another 4th Quarter Challenge Sample

Sorry for the late posting, like Ann last week I lost track of the days and missed getting some photos in the brief window of time we call ‘day’ here at this time of year! I managed to get some decent ones today, though it ended up being one of those days where every time you try to do something, another thing comes up! I had another idea for combining wool tubes and fabric which I wanted to try, so did that this week. I wanted to see the effect of wrapping fabric around wool tubes and then felting. I thought it’d be a good way to see the results if I used the same colour wool for the tubes as my base colour. Green always works well on camera, so I used that. I planned on using a few different fabrics in white, but only had cotton gauze and synthetic chiffon on hand, here’s the finished piece:

I did think some pieces would be very flat, but it turned out they all kept a fair bit of dimension:

I think this piece of synthetic chiffon had the most dimension/texture:

It was the only chiffon piece which I wrapped around the wool along its length, it uncurled along one edge, this is the edge still rolled under:

The other strips of chiffon were wrapped around the wool-wrapped kebab skewers diagonally:

This is one of the gauze wrapped pieces which I wrapped diagonally, above:

And from the side:

And this is one I wrapped horizontally along its length:

I think if I want to use this idea to better effect, I should maybe try a sample using more, and less wool in the centre. I can see it being usefull with less wool for getting a defined shape/line with little texture, or using more wool for creating a more 3D piece. Maybe a sample with narrower strips of fabric wound around would be good too.

4th Quarter Challenge Sample

4th Quarter Challenge Sample

I thought I’d try an idea out for the 4th Quarter Challenge. The basic idea was to use wool tubes with fabric, some under, and some over. Because they are quite thin and hollow, I thought they probably wouldn’t have much effect on the fabric, other than visual. I did use a couple of wool twists too. This is the finished piece:

When I’d rinsed it and squeezed the water out, I didn’t roll it in a towel or try to flatten/smooth it, like I usually do, I wanted to keep the texture. You can see it from this angle:

And this one:

This is a strip of cotton gauze:

This is some synthetic chiffon. I’m guessing I used twists under this piece because there seems to be more of an effect:

The close up photos of the silk strip didn’t turn out, but here’s where silk, cotton gauze and silk taffeta all meet:

This is a close up of the Silk Taffeta, I used twists over and under this:

I used some heavier synthetic chiffon. I know this fabric doesn’t attach very firmly, but I like to use it because it does ripple nicely and looks good:

I love my camera! I can see inside the ripple here:

It’s given me a better idea of what I might do on a bigger piece. How are your ideas coming?

Some Needle Felting

Some Needle Felting

We’ve been needlefelting at the Well-Being Centre. We started last week when there were just a few of us. One of the members liked this painting of ducks that is on the wall:

This was how far she’d got at the start of this week after doing a little of work after taking it home last week:

I think I’ve mentioned it’s a basement room with strange lights and 2 tiny windows, so the light isn’t great. I started an abstract piece using some of the dyed locks we have:

Some of them are commercial dyed BFL from World of Wool. This is a green one:

And, I think this is some dyed locks Lyn donated to us when we were first starting out:

These weren’t done at the centre, but one of the members brought them in. She was a really good sport about us laughing at her first attempt. And we weren’t being mean, we know it’s just at a stage where it looks comical:

She started on a different one, and liked how that progressed so did a little bit more:

I’m looking forward to seeing them finished! She also brought in a nuno sample she made a few weeks ago, at the same time I made mine, this is the blended 18.5 mic Merino side:

This is the front:

And this is a close up of the texture:

I’ll have updates of the needle felting next time 🙂

Cases And a Cover

Cases And a Cover

I got a couple of cases made this week. I thought I’d made a mistake and forgotten to add the cord at the right stage for this first one, then remembered I wasn’t making a bag after all! I added a piece of braiding/trim and a split ring. This is the felt side:

And the back/fabric side:

I did change my mind about what I was going to do with the piece of felt I used on this next one. If you saw my last post, I’d planned to make a small shoulder bag. But as I was cutting it out, I thought it was too narrow to work that way, so also made this into a case:

I changed my mind about the fabric to use aswell, I wanted something a bit more sturdier, so chose what I think is upholstery fabric:

A while ago, I made a piece of nuno with lots of shrinkage and rippling. I kept looking at it and thinking it’d made a cool book cover, so that’s what I did. This is how it looked after sewing up, but without a book in, outside:

Inside:

I wanted to keep all the edges as they were, and only had to trim off one small part. I haven’t decided which side I like best, so here’s one side:

And the other:

I might go over the stitching again, I want it to be secure, but don’t want to zig-zag stitch it as I like how the edges look.

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