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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It felt different...

This past week, I decided to experiment with wet felting.
I do a form of dry felting with a sharp, barbed needle to make my sculptures.
All felting is just a form of agitating fibers to get them to mat together.
I didn't want to use up any of my 'good' colours, so I used some Alpaca roving which I can't use for needle felting because the fibers are too long.
I took some tips from farmlady down in California.
(her blog is full of great goat stories, wool experiments and so many other adventures)
She's been having a real go at it and has made some really cool stuff.
So bubble wrap and roving to start...
I wanted to make a 'vessel' of some sort so I had to make a bladder to form around...
Lots of hottish water and a bit of dish soap in a spray bottle in a big bowl in the sink...
Start layering the roving and spray and smooth out...
This process takes a really long time to get it thick enough for strength...
It gets really sloppy too but your hands get SUPER clean!
It started to look like I was making bread but didn't smell like it!
In fact, I love the smell of the wet roving...something earthy and comforting about it, although if you
shrunk your favorite sweater, you probably wouldn't feel the same!
Next I decided to add another colour...
This dark brown took FOREVER to get wet and stick...I guess that's why sheep can stay out in the rain and it doesn't seem to bother them.
I took the bladder out and started really working the wool...
But the brown was not co operating!!
The great thing about working with fibre, is that it's so forgiving...you can mess around with it and it won't necessarily ruin the piece.
I decided after I tore off the dark brown, that I would add a bit of green to it...
 Again, long fibers seem to work best, but, lesson learned,
I should have put it in with the beige at the beginning.
When I was finished (tired actually!) I formed it around a bowl to dry...
...but the more I looked at it, the more it just looked like a giant hat.
I imagined people seeing my apples sitting in an upside down hat on the dining table
with puzzled looks on their faces.
So I thought I would get all artsy and add some dimension to the shape by sticking some
wine bottle corks (why I have so many saved up corks is another story)  under the edges and sculpting the form a bit...
...but then it just looked like a big wool tortilla bowl!
Once again, I manipulated the form while still wet and came away with something I thought
looked kind of interesting...
Then Tom says. "Hey that's a cool boat".
Yeah, right, thanks hun...
Anyway it's officially my seed packet basket.
 I think I'll stick to needle felting for now.
My fingers are quite wrinkly from the whole episode.
Maybe one day farmlady will come up and give me a few pointers.

2 comments:

island sweet said...

i think about wet felting all the time now...

Tatersmama said...

I think it turned out great, and I love the touch of green! I've thought about giving wet felting a go, but I think I'll wait until I'm back home and farmlady can give me a hand with starting out!