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Posts tagged ‘wet-felted technique’

New video tutorial – how to make a wet felt picture

As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I love making felt paintings.  I have to say though, my life has been so busy with other projects for a few months, that I haven’t made any for ages.

felt-finished-with-background

Recently though, I was asked to make a video tutorial, so here it is. The pics don’t really capture the depths of the blues at the top of the painting, but I think you get the idea.

I had immense fun getting all my wool and silk rovings and searching through my yarn box for just the right variegated and also dimensional yarns, and then even more joy as the little painting came together.

I’m getting used to filming the process, and even the editing is taking less time – still a.g.e.s. – but I’m getting the hang of it, and the rendering and Handbraking and uploading to YouTube with the tags and what-have-you, so people who are searching for a felt picture tutorial, actually discover it!

My desire was to make an attractive picture that was easy to demonstrate, and also copy if someone wants to – without too many intricate materials or steps.  I may make a more complex picture later, if I get enough interest.  Or I’ll make another one for the love of it, and may even video it as I make it!

Here are some closeups of the details of the simple little Sea Beach picture:

So what next?

I do have a hankering to make another nuno scarf soon though because I want to do some eco-printing on it.  I have some rose leaves in the freezer from Valentine’s Day, waiting to be put to good use. Or should I say second use – the first being the expression of love. Ahh, soppy. 😉

If you’d like to watch the new video, here is a link.  Do let me know what you think, by writing in the comments. ❤

 

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Poppies – two felt ‘paintings’

With only 2 sleeps to go to the Art Exhibition at Beerwah Community Hall, my dining area and kitchen look as if there’s been an invasion of the Arty Crafty Brigade!

Not sure that I had enough to display at the exhibition, and spotting a couple of 30x30cm deep canvases locally, then finding some lovely mottled dark grey/black quilting material, I had an idea to make a couple of poppy felt art works.  I have been inspired by stunning poppies on felt dresses by Oprisan Alina who makes beautiful vibrant and incredible works.  Rather than copy what she was doing, which I do not like to do, I took my love of the vibrancy and delicateness of poppies and translated them into my own design.

As you know if you’ve been following my blog, when I do a felt painting, I usually make the whole thing out of wool. However, as I had found the background already, I decided to make the poppies as separate items and stick them to the covered canvases.  Thankfully my handyman neighbour had an industrial staple gun so helped me with the covering.

I won’t even go into my drama on Saturday when I spent five hours felting one of the poppies with some ‘merino wool’ from Spotlight (bought on the spur of the moment in case I didn’t have enough red wool) that is apparently good for needle and wet felting.  After turning the kitchen blue with my swearing and trying all the felting tricks in the book I eventually gave in to the fact that what I was trying to felt may have looked like and felt like red wool rovings must actually be synthetic.

It was originally going to be four petals, two behind separated by a resist.  However, after the felting farce, I got my big sharp scissors and cut the back two off.  These were made solely out of the Spotlight ‘wool’, whereas the top two petals had a large quantity of my other real wool rovings that had been hand dyed in different shades of red, so they had pretty much felted how I wanted them.

Non-felting 'merino' wool from back two petals with finished 2-petal poppy using my wool

Non-felting ‘merino’ wool from back two petals with finished 2-petal poppy using my wool

Leaves and petals all contain high amounts of silk tops and hankies and I liked how they turned out. The second lot of poppies had one flat and one side on flower that opened to see inside.  I sewed in some nice black beads for detail and worked on the layout.

For the buds I used a thicker felt and then fluffed out the felt with a needle to give the fuzzy effect that real buds have.  Actually it was only after researching a good poppy photo, that I discovered how many different varieties of poppy there are, all with different stamen arrangements.

I have finished sticking it all down with good quality fabric glue and have just taken some pics.  Here they are.  Now I’ve got to find some wire and get them ready to hang.

Diptyche of poppies.  Wet felted with beading.

Diptyche of poppies. Wet felted with beading.

Detail of beading inside the smaller poppy.

Detail of beading inside the smaller poppy.

Library Display

This is a quick post to show a couple of pics of a limited variety of my felting that is on display at Beerwah Library for two weeks.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

It is lovely to have the opportunity to display my work locally.  I am a member of the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail and we have several weeks available to display members’ works.  Ilia Starkovsky is also displaying some of his photographic art, and Bronwyn Hill and/or Melanie Gray Augustin will also be bringing showing some of their work this fortnight.

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

Aside

Arts Trail and Library Exhibits!

I’m a bit excited and also a bit spread out in Beerwah this week!

The latest Glasshouse Country Arts Trail is on to coincide with the school holidays and I am exhibiting with fellow Arts Trail member, Sandra Price at her studio this weekend until Wednesday.

At the same time, I am displaying some of my felt at the local library for a couple of weeks in the glass cabinets at the front of the library.  I will also have my Mt. Coonowrin wall hanging displayed there, as an example of the variety of uses of wet felting.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

I must say, it’s heart warming to have these opportunities of sharing what I love with my local community.

 

Wet felt glass vase

Glass vaseI was looking round a local shop the other day and found a couple of long thin glass vases which looked perfect for a felting project.

I like the tall, slender shape – 24 x 5cm – and the vase is made with glass thick enough not to break during the felting process.

This is the first attempt at covering a glass vase, so I was careful to work out the correct size for the resist, allowing for shrinkage.  After measuring the height, depth and width of the vase, adding height and depth, and width and depth, then multiplying by 1.2, gave me a resist that was 12 x 34.8cm which I rounded up to 35cm.

So, which colours to choose?

I had a vision of natural cream at the top, with a stronger colour for the base and I wanted to add a pattern.  For the pattern I chose some multicoloured yarn in oranges and green shades, and selected orange for the base colour.

Process

The first phase included laying out the yarn on the resist, as I chose to make the vase inside out.  I cut different lengths and arranged them on the resist hoping they would be so evenly spread out at the end, that it would be difficult to tell this was made on  a flat resist. I then sprinkled a few wisps of mulberry silk tops to give added interest.

I layered three layers of merino wool at right angles to each other, wetted it with soapy water, rubbed through a small piece of net curtain that I laid on top of it and when it held together fairly well, I removed the net and flipped the whole thing. First of all I turned in the overhanging tops that I had laid about 2cm over the edges.  This would create part of the invisible seam of the finished vase.

The flip side was a repeat of the first.

Turning over again, I repeated the process two more times with two more layers of rovings finely laid at right angles, but without needing to overlap these.

On the final layer I added a variegated orange/brown tops mix instead of orange so if anyone wants to peer down to the bottom of the vase, they can see ‘matching’ inside.

Rubbed, rolled, rubbed and rolled.

Cut off the top edge and removed resist.

Heated, threw, heated, mashed.

Began shaping, first over the end of a pool noodle, then as it shrank, over the actual vase.

Eventually it shrank to a size I was very happy with and fitted nice and snugly over the glass.

Rinse, second rinse in water with splash of vinegar.  Spin dry.  Reshape over vase.

Photograph.

Remove glass and hang out on the line to dry.

Finished vase

For a first at a covered vase, I am very happy with the effect.

What next?

Now I’m toying with making a similar felt covering only using blues and aquas to match a similar thread in a different colour range.

But perhaps I could stretch my creative boundaries and make a vase covering that allows more of the glass itself to show through.

More on that next time.

I love teal! Two nuno scarves

I love teal – well, I love all colours period.  But each time I make a new scarf using a different colour spectrum, I fall in love all over again!

I was explaining this to my hubby as I showed him the two scarves.  I was almost salivating with delight at the colours and how the two designs had turned out.  He just looked at them, looked up at me over his spectacles and said:

“It must be a girl thing.”

I was so delighted with the shining jadey-turquoisey colours that I totally ignored the potential sexist argument thing, thinking – there must be millions of people, male and female, around the world who would feel the same over two new colourful creations. Some men love colours and creating – some women can’t bear arty farty stuff. 

You can’t generalise, which is what Baz tends to do. So I brought him back to a more personalised perception of the whole thing.

“No.  It’s a me thing.”

But that’s what makes the world go around isn’t it – the differences as well as the similarities!

So, here are pics of the two teal scarves.  I made them on tissue silk, with merino rovings, lots of silk tops and a dimensional yarn.

The zigzag one may remind you of a white one I made recently, with the teal highlights and pattern.  This one is a commission for a jeweller who has a stand at the markets I attend – Glasshouse Market – we have traded our wares with each other: a scarf from me for a bracelet from her.

I love bartering.

Polymer and Felt jewellery

Spirals phone caseSince I discovered polymer clay to make a couple of buttons and beads for felting projects a while ago, it’s been calling to me quietly from my craft box.

I’ve been wanting to have another play with polymer clay and have been waiting for the right time and a touch of inspiration.

Like felting, polymer clay has got great potential in terms of colour mixing and versatility of design.

Last night after my friend left to go home to Brisbane, I took out my polymer clay in a selection of colours and a piece of maroon felt that I’ve been using lately to cover books with. I love the colours in that piece so much, I wanted to put it to more good use.

Taking three colours – red, purple and yellow, I blended the polymer clay in my hands, then rolled it out several times until I had a lovely marbelled effect.  I cut out a couple of different shapes, moulded one on a teapot lid to give a curve resembling an open shell, and rolled the other to create a semi-closed shell. To give definition to where I would place some felt on the open shell design, I cut out a thin strip which I stuck into a ring, making a little scroll that I stuck over the join.

Then I baked them.

I anticipated the end result with glee as I waited for the kitchen timer to ding so I could take the pieces out of the oven to cool.

Eventually they were cold enough to touch and I set about putting the pieces together, with some of the maroon hand made felt and a couple of freshwater pearls to give a focal point.

I realised at that point I need to be a tad more refined when I’m creating the initial shape, and if I want a smoother surface, I’m going to have to pay more attention to detail.  But you have to remember, this is only the second time I’ve made anything out of polymer clay, and while the finished products to a trained eye will most likely look fairly ‘rustic’, I regard this as a successful experiment.

To draw my critical eye from the slight imperfections on the surface, and not having any polymer gloss in my possession, I did what any self-respecting impatient artist would do and reached for a bottle of clear nail varnish.

Several coats later, I had a gloss finish to those babies that would give epoxy resin a run for its money.  The glossy surface really sets off the matt of the felt too.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my two pieces of polymer and felt jewellery.  It’s a definite outlet for more creativity, and a lovely way to mix media.

Here are some photos of the finished two necklaces.

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Note to self … felt covered notebooks

Spare feltIf you’re anything like me, you’ve got bits of felt lying around that didn’t quite make it as a present or saleable item.  Maybe the colours didn’t work, or it was too thick, or you are organised and happen to make several pieces of felt for projects further down the track.

I had a lovely piece of maroon felt, that I made early on in my felting days and it was a bit thick and wide to be a belt, the pieces of silk I felted in didn’t sit right, so despite embellishing it with freshwater pearls and glass beads, I was never very happy with it.  And after I got fed up carting it to market and back every month, it’s been lying around unloved in a plastic storage box for a few weeks.

Today, after taking myself on an artist date thanks to a fantastic book that my arty friend Sandra Price lent me last weekend, called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, I found myself mooching around our local stationers and bought three small and one medium-sized notebooks.

This wasn’t the first shop I visited on my afternoon out – I went to JoyBells Scrapbooking shop in Landsborough which is a veritable feast for creative eyes – and I couldn’t resist some very fine ribbons in different shades that I’m sure I will find use for very soon.

However, back to my creative venture.

I took two of the small notebooks, measured the felt, cutting out pieces that included red glass hearts positioned so they would be in the middle of the front cover.  I glued the books, stuck the felt down and when it was dry, used a knife to trim the felt close to the edge of the books.

I rather like them.  Great to write a Note to Self.

Now I need to make more felt for the other two books.

 

 

Gallery

My first wet-felted wall hanging

Here is the felted painting. I will embroider in details when its dry. However, I'm pleased with how it has turned out. I like how the pineapple fields details show through. :)

Here is the felted painting. I will embroider in details when its dry. However, I’m pleased with how it has turned out. I like how the pineapple fields details show through. 🙂

I usually paint in acrylics, but since I’ve been felting for a few years, I’ve exercised my creative juices through wool and silk.

A few months ago I experimented with a felt ‘painting’ of Uluru.  It wasn’t bad, but was rough and ready in a few ways.  However it showed me that I had the potential to turn wool rovings into a recognizable picture.

Today was the day.  I got out my wool rovings, silk tops, silk noile, silk hankies and odd scraps of patterned chiffon and lace and a piece of cream pre-felt.

Then I took a deep breath.

This had been several weeks ‘cooking’ on the inside after I had the desire to make a felt wall hanging, but like any good baby it does take a while to bring it all together on the inside before it makes its appearance in the outer world.

I can’t say exactly what goes on in my psyche when I’m cooking a painting, but I think a lot of it is accepting the idea, pulling together thoughts about what I can make and how I can best bring it into reality.  Then there are the resistances that my desires and thoughts butt up against.  The ones that caution me not to waste resources in case it turns out like a dog’s dinner, or what will happen if I put all that time into creating something beautiful but which turns out like Rosemary’s Baby.

I’m all for fun and like to avoid frustration like most of us, so over the years I’ve learned not to physically start the project until I feel ready.  Otherwise the whole thing becomes an exercise in pulling teeth: very painful and very laborious.

Well enough rambling, I’ve got a few pics to document the process for anyone that’s interested.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me that you can basically start with raw unspun wool, mash it together with soapy water for ages and you end up with a stunning fabric.

Enough said.  Here’s today’s work:

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