You wouldn’t believe what hard work it is to make felt! It really is quite vigorous exercise. Three days of pushing, rubbing, throwing, and kneading is bound to leave a few sore muscles. But the results were worth it. In fact I have more felt projects planned.
The felted vessel class with Sharon Costello was a blast. We started off Friday by making a sample. This allowed us to play with the materials, see how the colors migrated, and try out some of resists and other techniques that could be incorporated into our vessels. The samples started out the size of a piece of paper. We made four layers of wool batting in a variety of colors. Sharon encouraged us to use more than one color in each layer to test color combinations. I put a couple of resists in mine. These are shaped pieces of thin plastic between the layers to make spots that aren’t felted and can be cut and exposed.This is one side of my sample midway through the felting process. I’ve got a resist partway under the brown fringe that will prevent it from sticking to the black wool beneath it. There is also a bit of wool yarn and some silk hankies added in.This is the finished sample. I’ve shaped the fringe. See how all four quadrants of black turned out slightly different colors? That’s due to the color migration of the layers below.The reverse side has been slit, the resist removed, and the wool stretched and shaped. There are three lengths of cording under the blue silk hankie. They’ve kind of sunk into the felt, so I’ll have to stitch them to define them more.
Saturday we began work on the vessels. I forgot to take pictures of this one before this point. This is my vessel upside down over a PVC pipe to stretch it taller and begin to shape the base. We used the heavy duty steamer to help shape and mold the felt.The top flanges were added using a resist.
On Sunday afternoon, I started another something. It’s still in the beginning stages, so it is a blank that can become lots of things. I’m going to make it a head. Sharon makes masks and demoed that for us. I ran out of time, but I’ll try it at home.
This is the loose batting draped over an inflated play ball. Under it is a blue and green silk cap. We were running short of colors so I’ve combined the purple and magenta on the first layer. Then turquoise and then another combination of light and dark green on the outside which will become the inside. Sharon starts her vessels inside out to have what will become the outside against the ball for the smoothest finish. The wool covered ball is encased in three queen size panty hose tops, dunked in soapy water and rolled and rolled and rolled and rolled. And then rolled some more.And then you can take the panty hose off, deflate the ball, and see what it all looks like. This is about halfway through the process, but it’s as far as this one has gone. I’ll be saving it to work on another day.