Sunday, July 3, 2011

retro post - yikes!! wet felting!

Another orphan from a wet felting class I took at the Textile Museum of Canada. How many years ago you say? I can't remember! Who was the instructor? Sorry, can't remember that either! No real excuse other than the fact that I've never been good with dates or names and I think my brain is just too full right now. I do remember that it was an excellent class and the instructor showed some wonderful examples of her more creative pieces. Including masks made from soy silk. They fascinated me for some weird and wonderful reason!

Anyway this is an example of wet felting with a resist (heavy plastic) placed inside a wool roving sandwich to form a pocket. Multiple layers of roving on top and more on the bottom. From the little I remember, you felt the edges first (friction, water, soap, using your hands) and then the top/bottom. I have a vague memory of wrapping it around a piece of pool noodle and then rolling it around with my feet! When that was done "fulling" it by slamming it on the floor/table multiple times!! In my lofty imagination, I was making a beautiful, artsy purse. In reality, I forgot about the shrinkage factor and ended up with a rather useless tea cosy for a teeny little teapot. Anyway, I re-discovered the piece, while treasure hunting in a drawer recently. It's now proudly displayed on one of my bookcases!

From the little I remember of this technique, it was a bit of a pain! I was fumbling around with the resist and wet wool, while at the same time trying to felt in silk waste (the curly stuff) and woven fabric spirals. The silk waste wasn't a problem, but those other inclusions took quite a while to felt!!! Felting needles would have been a lot easier! Anyway, this reminds me that I have an entire tote full of coloured rovings that I should start playing with. When, you say? Who knows, I answer? It's going to be a very busy summer and I don't mean creatively!! Perhaps I should re-visit this rather cathartic process!

Detail shots!

The colours in this piece make me happy!!

Do you have any funny workshop experiments that you would like to share? Or older pieces you just can't bear to part with?