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Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Felting Experiment Gone Awry!


I am mesmerized by the various forms and properties of felting.  I was going to apply for a Regional Artists Project Grant from the Arts Council of Wilmington, due September 20, but I've now decided NOT to apply this year.  I'm going to wait another year so I can apply to attend Felters' Fling, a bi-yearly event that is taking place right now at Snow Farm of the New England School of Craft in western MA.  I just learned of this - too late to consider for this year - and since it takes place only every other year, I'd like to apply next year for the following summer's Fling!

Instead, in the ensuing year, I'll be experimenting with felt.  I've got books that seemed like Greek to me when I first started to felt several years ago.  Now they make sense, so I'd like to try some of their techniques.  I've scoured Pinterest and have developed a Board devoted to Felting Tutorials.  And I'm beginning to experiment with some of them.

My first idea was to hand/wet-felt a very stringy, open-weave scarf using some luscious hand-dyed wool YARN.  The yarn was a bargain from my favorite online source, Discontinued Brand Name Yarns.  However, the yarn came with NO wrapper, so I guessed it was all wool.  Perhaps it is, but clearly it's superwash wool, because the experiment failed!  Goopy, fuzzy wool emerged from the process, but no felt!  I destroyed it before thinking to take photos.

So today I decided to try again, this time using my magic Artfelt paper and wool yarn that I KNOW will felt (having used it before to make knitted/felted purses or such).  I used multiple yarns and colors, needle-felting the "strings" onto the paper  - a process that took far too long  I made the piece larger than I should have for this experiment.  I laid down non-feltable materials (other yarns and hand-dyed ribbons) first and then kept adding more yarn to the design.  It looked like one of those squiggly line drawings where you then color the "blocks" in with colored pencils or markers - 
very unstructured and freeform.

About 90 minutes of needle-felting, wetting, drying, boiling, smacking, and this is what emerged!  I think it may be workable - perhaps weaving in some other fibers or attaching it with a brooch or shawl pin.  The shape is mostly rectangular (almost square) and too short to tie, but one end can easily be brought through a hole in the other diagonal corner.  I need to sleep on this one - or rely on YOU to suggest a way to finish this off - um, er....finish it off!  ;)


Chrissie Marshall said...

Oh my I love the colurs and it looks pretty good to me, although I think I would find it annoying to wear without really knowing why. Could it be lined or would that spoil the LOOK? I am impressed with your determination in mastering felting. Sorry if this comes across negative that is not my intention

Louise Giordano said...

Not negative, Chrissie! Constructive! It can't be lined at this point, but when I try again, I'll do it on a piece of silk so it's a nuno creation with a structured shape. Thanks for the feedback!

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