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Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Felting Class (refresher course!) with Cynthia Mollenkopf of Artifelts!

Several years ago, I took a weekend workshop with Cynthia Mollenkopf at The Independent Art Company in Wilmington NC. It was a fabulous intro to wet/hand felting - creating a seamless purse using a resist.  Felting was familiar to me, having done knitted felt and nuno felt (another wonderful workshop with Jean Gauger of Sugar Plum Originals).  But I wanted to learn how to make a seamless felted bag.  I loved the bag so much that I put a photo of it on this blog, asking if I should sell or keep it.  Within several minutes someone posted a comment that she wanted to buy it.  So it went!

The bag has been a part of my business card ever since.

I had left-over roving from that project and made another similar one, but without the resist.  I brought that one to my local gallery, and one of the owners bought it immediately.  So that one went too!

But I never did another seamless one using the resist, so I contacted Cynthia and arranged a private class at her studio this past week.  I came away with this bag, adding some curly locks and a vintage button once home.

I decided to devote the next day at home to creating yet another wet-felted bag on my own - using a resist.  I must admit that I had my difficulties, but persevered.  Whether or not I actually followed the "correct" procedure is questionable, but it worked (except for the strap that never quite felted onto the bag!)

So here it is sans strap.  I attempted to needle-felt the strap onto the bag, but it too seemed to be unreliable.  And then I attempted to re-felt the strap.  I'll sew it next to ensure its sturdiness.  Still haven't figured out why it wouldn't felt during the original felting process!

But still not satisfied with the way it looked, I realized it still needed something!  I resorted to what has become a "signature" of sorts for my knitted felted bags: freeform needle felting that makes it "pop!"

I think it still needs a "WOW" feature, like a fabulous pin or button on the flap.  I haven't got the perfect piece, so the hunt will now ensue for such a feature.  Any other ideas?  I am also thinking of felting it again to be sure the needle felting sticks.  I learned from Cynthia that you can actually re-felt anything even after it dries, and even YEARS later if so desired.  Never knew that, so it's tempting to try doing that with this bag.

But for now I need to move on to other things, since felted anything is really not the thing for upcoming Spring and Summer.  Hope I remember how to do it when I return to it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the the bag! Really need to learn this technique. Feeling intimidated.
Keep up the great work!

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