Monday 28 March 2016

Landscapes and Nuno

Ruth did a post on The Felting and Fiber Studio just over a week ago about a landscape tutorial on the Start2 website. I hadn't come across that tutorial before and thought Ruth's paintings were brilliant, so having been stuck in a recliner for a week and half with flu, I was itching to do something creative so gave it a go. I had some thick but cheap sketchbook paper and also a variety of printer paper samples to try it on. This first one is the sktechbook paper:

And this is the textured printer paper sample:

They need flattening and cropping. I was disappointed they weren't as nice as Ruth's, but if I'd seen them before Ruth's I'm sure I'd have been more impressed :) I wish I had the artistic skills to add to them to improve them. I'm at least going to look for a white gel pen. I don't think I've mentioned Start2 here before. It's a creative well-being site which is great for activities which get your mind working and your creativity flowing in ways you might not have tried before. I did a post about it on the Studio site just before Christmas:

In my last post I mentioned I hadn't had time to felt my demo piece when we did landscapes at the well-being centre. As well as the general layout, I was showing ways of using some different fibres, like cotton, nylon, plastic and even mohair for effects in the sky, and how to tease apart and fluff up texturey wools or dyed nylon for adding depth and texture. I didn't really give much thought to how it would look, just showed them all and piled them on. All I can say is, the locks look nice :)  The patch of wool and nylon on the bottom right looks like some green bodied, red headed creature looking over its own shoulder!

I took some fabric strips with me the week after for some experimenting. This is the piece I made:

I thought I'd make a bigger sample trying out more of the fabrics. Before going back to the other well being centre, I wanted to get a better idea of which fabrics attach securely and will hold up to being handled a lot, which might need some stitching to secure and which will be better for more decorative pieces. This is the whole piece:

And here are some angled photos to show better how they attached and their texture (or not in some cases), left side:

Middle pieces:

Right hand side:

I still have a few more strips I want to try, hopefully I'll get a chance later this week.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Wet Felting for Well Being

I've mentioned previously that last year I got involved with a well being centre doing wet felting (I'm still very grateful for all the wonderful donations I received!). The organisers started to get another well being centre up and running in the New Year, and a couple of weeks ago we started the wet felting classes there. We're planning to alternate between each centre for 6 week courses and have them more structured and with themes like nuno or resists etc. For now we have a loose plan for 6 weeks of taster sessions, depending on whether we get the same people each week or new. The first week we made nuno flowers, and the second week we made soft, layered, decorative felt. We had an extra table the 2nd week which was good:

If you look near the top right of the photo above you can just see the bowl Jo (one of the organisers) made at the other centre a few weeks ago when we used resists. We were making these pieces as an exercise in laying the wool out thinly, building up layers, and using yarns and embellishments to create soft decorative felt. I've noticed in recent years that a lot of people learn to make one specific thing when they start felting and have fixed ideas about how it should be or what 'works', so I wanted to avoid that and encourage more experimenting and discovery about why things turn out the way they do. Here are some of the pieces being made:

The piece above is one Linda was working on, when it was finished and dry she embellished it beads, buttons and ribbons:

And this is my finished piece:

Close up of commercial loop yarn pulled apart, what I think is mohair yarn from Lyn, some different nylons and silk throwster's waste:

This is what it looks like when light comes through it:

Last week, week 3, there were loads of us, the loose 'theme' was landscape/garden. I got a photo of the table and as Leonor from Felt Buddiespointed out in her blog post recently, you can tell it's the UK from the mugs of tea :)

I can't remember the name of who was laying out this piece, she was new last week, tilt your head to the right a bit:

I know this was Linda's (tilt to the left a bit!):

And I know I shouldn't have favourites, but I just loved this one by Pearline who was also new (both Pearline and her friend whose name I've forgotten were a bit late and missed the laying out demo, so just watched others and picked it up) she'd almost finished felting it here:

We had so many people that there wasn't space for me to felt my demo layout piece and I just haven't managed to do it yet, but it should be interesting as I showed a few techniques for clouds and streaky skies with plastic, nylon, cotton and blends, so it might look like I went over the top a bit :)