Friday, 7 October 2011

Chapter 10 and 11 Felt Making or how not to stab yourself while needlefelting!

these 2 chapters cover felt making and resolved samples of said felt. before i started i thought i would like to continue with the above image i made for the chapter on 'slips' and experiment with lettering again.
when i did my certificate i was taught a method for felt making using a container and a potato masher so i had never made felt the more traditional way - so this time round i made some samples using the rolling method. there are also lots of you tube video's showing the many and varied methods of felt making. the above photo shows my first 3 samples. top left made with black merino has strips of cellophane embedded in the layers, the cellophane obviously stays the same size when the wool shrinks and gives an interesting texture, the cellophane also pokes out quite interestingly. top left sample is my attempt at felt seersucker! i bought i think last year at Ally Pally a piece of melted nylon/plastic stuff which i embedded in this piece of felt. the white/natural coloured piece has fine plastic tubing embedded in it.
i then branched out to colour, the green one i used for one of my resolved pieces.
the above pink piece is double sided with black
i then discovered needle felting! it was one of those eureka moments i absolutely love it. i was going to experiment with an embellishing machine but once i had started with the single needles i realised how controllable it is, until you stab yourself, not once, not twice but a few more! the above photo and one below are some test samples in needle felting using pre-felts, fibres from tops and samples of 'nuno' felting onto organdie.
i wanted to try and enclose items and make pockets by needle felting around things, hence the lollipop stick

Chapter 11
Resolved sample based on the image at the front of this post. when you needle felt you basically end up with two surfaces, the front and back and once i had done some experiments i realised how much i loved the tufty reverse side, so i decided to utilise this in the above sample. i wanted to see how precise i could be needle felting and experimenting with various ways of making letter forms using just the front and reverse of the needle felting technique. this piece was worked on undyed wool flannel with the green felt i made earlier, some pre-felt and machine made felt. i used card shapes inside the sandwich for the letter definitions.
above detail at an angle of 'L' shape
detail 'R'
Sample 2 i wanted to see how paper would work in the felting process so with this piece i enclosed torn strips of newspaper sprayed black in the base felt and as i wanted to be able to see it in the finished piece it is only covered with a fine layer of wool fibres. i also wanted to experiment with needle felting paper and even more so since seeing Lizzy's work at summer school. so this sample uses undyed merino wool, pre-felts and newspaper. the base felt and the 3 pockets were all made individually (i wanted very random shapes and wiggly edges) it was quite difficult judging the size that the felt would shrink to!
the letters are made of a sandwich of felt with a larger letter of newspaper in the middle and needle felted to hold them all together they are then needle felted to the base felt in a few areas (so they stand proud). to the right of the above photo you can see some of the newspaper strips and added stitch!
i then took myself off to see a beautiful exhibition at The Devon Guild of Crafstmen in Bovey Tracey called 'Signs for Sounds'. it shows the work of various artists using the letterform. the work that particularly caught my eye was by Julien Breton who makes light calligraphy. it is touring but on at Bovey till 31 October, an absolute must. i treated myself to a wonderful book there 'Shapes for sounds' by Timothy Donaldson who explores various alphabets and more so i am inspired now to use even more letters in the future!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is all great. You've inspired me to try needle felting - I've been meaning to give it a go for ages but I'll definitely try it now!