New Adventures in Felting

Well, new for me anyway. I've taken a couple of felting workshops this year, both of which have expanded the possibilities for fiber art I can create.

The first workshop was entirely online - first time I've done this, but it works - with Fiona Duthie. Each week she sent out detailed instructions with photos, of several wet felting techniques that add dimension to the felted surface. Students had the opportunity to share our work samples and ask questions  of Fiona in an online forum. It was inspiring seeing the work of many more students than could fit in a real classroom or studio!

Armed with some new ideas and skills, I was eager to put some of my new knowledge to work... here are some examples ~

The red fabric in this piece is from an old chiffon dress and matching scarf that was labeled as silk, but clearly was not, judging by its resistance to the wool migrating through it. See here for my unsuccessful attempt at nuno felting with it! One of the things Fiona taught was how to trap hard-to-felt fabrics between layers of wool - a great solution for repurposing this dress, since I love the colors! Here I used a base of black silk gauze, and trapped strips of the dress in a layers of black wool. Dramatic!

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This scarf started out with a wool base, over which I laid scraps several types of silk as well as cotton scrim. During felting, as the wool shrinks and pulls the silk along with it, a different type of texture is created with each type of fabric. This is called fabric manipulation - way cool!

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One of my favorites. Here I created felt loops and craters to add even more dimension.  Black seed beads are trapped under a layer of black silk gauze... you can just make them out at the bottom of the photo. The champagne-colored top layer is a blend of silk fiber and yak wool. Yak is super soft and shiny, and together with the silk makes a wonderful shimmery, curly texture.


The second workshop was with Canada-based felter Judith Dios. I've admired her work for a long time and was so happy when I heard she was coming to Artful Dimensions Gallery in Fredericksburg, VA - just a 4 hour drive for me - to teach a 'Watercolor Scarf' nuno felting workshop.

Judith specializes in adding ruffles and rosettes to add yet another textural dimension, and to working with mostly undyed materials until felting is completed.

In this workshop we started with a base of white silk gauze and added undyed wool and embellishments - other silk fabrics, silk roving, silk yarn. Only after everything was felted did we paint our scarves with acid dyes. This gives quite a different effect than designing with pre-dyed wool... really a fluid, watercolor-y effect.

 

It's exciting to have lots more toys to put into my felting playbox... I'm looking forward to creating with them!